Have you ever heard it said that you may get a better home deal if you buy prior to the summer months? According to Los Angeles MLS data, this appears to be true.
Okay, you may disagree because you say it’s always warm in Los Angeles. I personally disagree, I’m all bundled up right now in my cold office complaining that my heater isn’t doing it’s job. It’s only 55 degrees and I’m still too cold to go out. I realize that’s ridiculous, the rest of the country is much more miserable and cold than I am, but that’s how a spoiled Los Angeles resident like me feels. That’s also the general public Los Angeles consensus, and I am about to show you some interesting data regarding this.
In November of 2008, the Median Sold Price for LA county MLS properties was approximately $388,000. In December the median price went down to about $380,000. Here’s the real interesting part. From January to April of 2009 it bounced between approximately $340,000 and $355,000. That’s a $48,000 price decrease from November. Full warm weather statistics start in May as the price shot up to $375,000 with a peak of approximately $380,000 in June. It started going down once again in September when the kids went back to school, with a Median Sold Price of $360,00 and then in November the price up to $377,000. The reason the median price didn’t come up to $388,000 as it was back in November of 2008 is due to the median price declining 3% over the year. For the 2008-2009 time period, it would appear that the months of January through April showed significant price decreases.
There are many contributing factors to these prices, such as government programs, foreclosures, the economy and inventory levels. As a general rule though, ask any seasoned Los Angeles real estate investor and they will vouch for this cold weather theory. Investors don’t like this little bit of common sense known, as they will be giving away their secrets. Think of it yourself, would you rather go shopping in cold weather or warm?
Years ago my husband and I were actively seeking great deals on golf course homes. We were looking all day at a large community of new golf course homes, and quite simply I wanted to give up because it was cold and rainy. My husband asked me to please keep going, as this was the best time to find that great deal.
In summary, within two hours we had bought not one but two brand new golf course homes at an incredible price. One house had just fallen out of escrow the very hour we showed up and another of the houses was available but for some reason we had to pry the information out of the agent. We were at the right place at the right time. My husband went the following morning to complete the start-up paperwork on these two homes. It was a bright and sunny morning with a group of home buyers swarming the office to see if my husband would actually show up. They were told if he didn’t show up they could buy one of the homes for themselves. We often laugh about what happened on that cold and rainy day and will always remember how much fun it was to find those two great real estate deals.
If serious investors realize the best deals can be had in the colder months, don’t you think maybe you should consider buying when everybody is not? It’s true there may not be as many Los Angeles homes to select from in the colder season, but there still is a good chance to find that perfect home at that perfect lower price. Once the warm months arrive, the market becomes overly competitive with anxious buyers in the busy real estate season. Home deals aren’t found as easily, and you’ll have to compete with those other 20 buyers making offers on the homes that everyone and their brother likes.
So next time it’s cold and rainy and you really don’t feel like going outdoors and battling the elements, maybe say to yourself “Hey, this is the best time to find my house and save ALOT of money. Let’s go!”