Fall 2021 Could Be a Good Time to Buy a Home in Many U.S. Cities

Tomorrow is the first official day of fall. And in many U.S. cities, the fall of 2021 will be a good time to buy a home.

Fall house illustration

For one thing, new real estate listings have increased in recent weeks. This will give buyers more options to choose from — especially in cities like Baltimore and Cleveland, where inventory rose the most.

Also, a recent report from Realtor.com showed that the best home-buying deals in most U.S. cities typically occur in early fall. For these and other reasons, fall 2021 could be a great time to buy a house.

Fall 2021: A Good Time to Buy a Home

The September 13th Realtor.com report identified four specific reasons why fall 2021 could be a good time to buy a home in the U.S.

In many U.S. cities, buyers could have more properties to choose from during the upcoming fall months. They could also experience less competition from other buyers, along with an overall slower pace to the housing market.

Last, but certainly not least, home-price growth could begin to slow down in many real estate markets. In some cities, sale prices might actually dip during the fall months.

Buyers in many cities could capitalize on these trends, if they buy a home during the fall of 2021.

1. More real estate listings to choose from

In many local housing markets across the U.S., supply shortages have presented major challenges for home buyers. Tight inventory conditions made made it harder to find a suitable home within budget.

But according to the above-mentioned report, that is starting to change. Realtor.com’s analysts expect to see an uptick in the number of homes for sale during the fall of 2021.

To quote the report:

“If 2021 follows the typical seasonal pattern, there should be around 705,000 listings on the market in October nationwide, which is roughly 100,000 more active listings than during the peak summer season in July.”

2. Less competition among buyers

An increase in housing supply could benefit buyers in several ways. In addition to making it easier to find a house, supply growth could ease competition and make sellers more motivated to sell.

During the latter half of 2020, and the first half of 2021, the U.S. real estate market forced buyers to compete for limited inventory. Competition became especially fierce in the hottest housing markets like Austin, Boise and Denver.

But here again, change is in the wind. Fall 2021 could be a good time to buy a house in the U.S., and less competition is a big reason for that.

According to the Realtor.com report:

“Fall sees a seasonal slowdown partly driven by the opening of schools, as many buyers put their home search on hold when their children return to the classroom.”

A reduction in buyer demand could have a ripple effect across the housing market. It could lead to slower home sales and more price reductions among sellers. Overall, it could have a cooling effect on the market. Speaking of which…

3. A slower-paced housing market

It’s an understatement to say that the housing market has been “fast-paced” over the past year or so. “Frenzied” is a better word for it. In many local real estate markets, a typical home for sale would attract several offers within days of being listed. And sometimes on day one.

This is another reason why fall 2021 could be a good time to buy a house. The pace of home sales is expected to slow down over the coming weeks.

The research team from Realtor.com said they expect the sales pace to slow by 18% during the week of October 3rd, compared to the peak reached earlier this year. And in some U.S. cities, this slower pace could continue well into November.

Translation: home buyers might not have to scramble quite as much, if they buy a house during the fall of 2021.

4. Moderating home prices

Last but not least, we have home prices. Over the past year, house values in most U.S. cities rose by double digits. (Well into the double digits, in some cases.) This trend has made things harder on buyers, many of whom have been priced out of the real estate market altogether.

But there could be some relief on the horizon. According to the Realtor.com report, those who buy a home during fall 2021 could save money due to moderating home prices nationwide.

As the authors stated:

“During the week of Oct. 3 prices could dip 2.6% compared to a typical season high. On a median listing price of $385,000, buyers could save approximately $10,000. And in the largest housing markets, prices could dip more than 10% from their peak.”

Related: 2022 could be better for buyers

So there you have them, four reasons why the fall of 2021 could be a good time to buy a home. Granted, real estate conditions can vary widely from one local housing market to the next. But overall, it seems that the fall months could bring favorable conditions for home buyers across the U.S.

Disclaimer: This article contains predictions and estimations from third-party sources. They are the equivalent of an educated guess. The Home Buying Institute makes no claims about future housing or economic conditions.