Despite rising interest rates, fall is the best season to buy for hopeful homebuyers when it comes to home prices, competition and inventory.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (Sept. 14) – As children return to school and the weather begins to cool, the off-season is offering up opportunities for hopeful homebuyers. Realtor.com® analyzed the numbers in its fourth annual Best Time to Buy Report and found the best time to buy a home across the nation is the week of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1. This early-fall period will offer buyers a host of favorable factors, including more housing listings, less competition, and lower prices.

Those who buy during this week can expect:

  • More than 6% of homes with reduced prices
  • Savings of more than $20,000, on average, relative to the summer’s peak price of $450,000
  • Approximately 46% more homes to choose from vs. the average week to date
  • Extra time to make buying decisions, with homes expected to stay on the market 15 days longer than during the summer’s peak
  • Less competition, as demand during the best week to buy is historically 26.9% lower than the yearly peak week and 8.5% lower than the average week

“After several years of an overheated housing market, higher mortgage rates are helping usher in more regular seasonal trends, which have pros and cons for home shoppers,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist, Realtor.com. “If you’re flexible on your timing and can budget for higher rates, early fall can be a great time to secure a home, with a number of factors aligning to make it the best time of the year both in terms of price and competition. This is especially true for first-time buyers and others who are not trying to sell a home at the same time as their purchase.”

Since 2018, Realtor.com has analyzed home prices, inventory, listing views, and time on market, indicators that tend to follow regular seasonal patterns, to determine the best time to buy. Historically, the early fall has provided an ideal mix of market conditions, including substantial inventory, waning competition, below-peak prices, and a slowing purchase pace.

The benefits of buying during the “best week” include:

  • Reduced prices: Historically, an average of 5.2% of homes have price reductions during this period. As the market begins to stabilize after a frenzied couple of years, more than 6% of homes may have reduced prices during the best week in 2022. Nationally, this could translate into roughly 48,000 homes available at a decreased cost.
  • More listings: Although active listing inventory isn’t back to pre-pandemic levels, it has increased year over year and year to date. There could be 780,000 listings during the best week, 46% more than this year’s average to date.
  • Less competition: Fierce home buying competition has softened as mortgage rates rise. Historically, demand (as measured by views per property on Realtor.com) during the best week to buy has been 26.9% lower than its July peak and 8.5% lower than the average week of the year.
  • More time to decide: Homes will stay on the market longer, giving buyers some breathing room to make purchase decisions. During the best time to buy, a typical home is expected to remain on the market for two weeks more than during peak market pace in May and one week more than the average time spent on the market to date.

To view the full report and methodology, visit realtor.com/research/best-time-to-buy-2022.