Market Value Can Change With the Seasons in Florida

by Anchor Realty Jax 12/27/2020

Photo by Okan Caliskan via Pixabay

If you look at the median sales prices of Florida homes, by month, you’ll find that the lowest prices are found in January. From there they rise gradually until they peak in June, then they drop slightly and remain somewhat consistent through December, varying by only about 2 percent during the second half of the year. The difference between high and low is $20,000, about 8 percent. Since we all know the old adage of “buy cheap and sell dear,” the best time to buy is January and the best to sell is June, right? Here are three reasons why that’s not necessarily the right answer.

1. Life Events

Families with children like to move in the summer. That’s good news for sellers, but if you’re one of these moving families you may be both a buyer and a seller. Families tend to start looking in late spring. If they manage to buy in August rather than June they could save a little. But if it’s the right time for you to buy or sell, the uncertainty and inconvenience of waiting may outweigh the potential benefit.

Retirees and snowbirds, especially first-time Florida home buyers, are inclined to search while they’re here, in the winter months. They're in good position to buy in January, the cheapest month, but the selection can be less than ideal, which leads to the next factor.

2. Number of Listings

There are more homes on the market in the first half of the year. Listings rise though late winter into spring and peak in March and April. For buyers that means more choices, and for sellers it means more competition. But there are also more buyers competing with one another, including seasonal residents who haven’t yet gone north and families prepping for summer transition.

Most sellers prefer to do so in summer, when prices are high, and they can get closest what they’re asking. A lot of winter listings are by owners who are compelled to sell, and there are more as-is and fixer-upper homes in winter listings.

Remember, though, that if you’re a buyer you need only one house, and if you’re a seller you need only one buyer. You might find the right deal any time of year.

3. Long-term price trends

Just because prices generally drop around the end of year, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll do so this year. And even though they usually rise in the summer, there’s no guarantee they’ll go up next summer. Strong long-term trends can squish seasonal variation. The market may take off while you’re waiting for a dip or fall when you’re hoping for a boost. Instead of gaining a few thousand in seasonal fluctuation you may lose many times that in market movement.

Furthermore, the market isn’t consistent throughout Florida. Both long-term and seasonal trends differ from community to community.

You can make a case that late-years buyers should wait until January, because the average drop from December to January is the greatest month-to-month, around 5 percent. But, in general, the best time to buy is when you’re ready to buy and the best time to sell is when you’re ready to sell. If you’re thinking about acting now, then now may be the right time regardless of seasonal variation.