Black Friday is long gone for homebuyers

Melody Hahm
Senior Writer

With Black Friday around the corner, gadget junkies and thrifty bargain hunters are scouring stores and the web to find the best deals on holiday gifts.

But one big-ticket item is not on clearance — homes. According to a new biannual Trulia report, the late fall and early winter are when you’re least likely to see a listing price come down.

The “Black Friday” equivalent for a good deal on a house is August, with 13.9% of all listings seeing a price cut. Overall, price cuts are most common from May through October. Forty-six of the largest 100 markets saw the most price reductions in August, 19 saw them in October and 16 in July.

When are buyers least likely to see a markdown?

You’re least likely to get a discount in December, when only one in 12 listings will see a price cut. Sellers who have waited all summer for a buyer to come through are most likely to slash prices as they don’t want to wait through fall and winter months when selling activity goes down, according to Trulia housing economist Felipe Chacón.

In December, sellers and real estate agents “are holding out hope for renewed interest in early spring as potential buyers ramp up their searches again,” he explains.

Chacón did, however, find two outliers that buck the trend. Homes in Richmond, Virginia saw the lowest proportion of price cuts in February and September is the worst month for buyers looking in Fort Myers, Florida.

The report used price history of every listing on Trulia’s website from February 2011 to October 2017. Trulia calculated the percentage of listings that saw a price reduction by comparing the total number of unique properties in each month with the number of unique properties each month that saw at least one price reduction.

Of course, at face value, it’s great news to see a mark-down in August, but it’s a Catch 22 if you’re looking to sell a home at the same time.

Melody Hahm is a senior writer at Yahoo Finance, covering entrepreneurship, technology and real estate. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.

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