The Bozeman December Real Estate Report

Tim Ford

Many people often ask about timing the market. What is the best time of year to buy? What is the best time of year to sell? Looking at sales in 2014, the busiest month of the year for new contracts was April, during which 111 homes went under contract. This is looking at contract dates, or the date that buyer and seller came to an agreement upon terms, not the closing date. The months ranging from May through September were all fairly equal, with between 80 and 89 homes going under contract. November, December, and January were the 3 slowest months with 44, 49, and 55 homes going under contract.

However, what about competition? Look at the number of homes that came on to the market during the same months and the data is interesting. April was also the busiest month for new listings when 173 homes came onto the market. May through August were again fairly equal, with between 134 and 144 homes hitting the MLS. November & December were really interesting; 49 homes came onto the market in November, and 49 homes went under contract. December was 55 new homes and 54 going under contract.

This doesn’t mean that the same homes that hit the market sold, many of the homes that went under contract could have been on the market for some time. One could read from the data that while there are more buyers in the spring & summer, there is also more competition. Fall & winter bring fewer buyers to the market, but there is also less competition. Perhaps the best answer is to not try to time the market, but to make the move when the timing works well for the individual. There are pros and cons to all the seasons. For buyers, the best way to get into the home that is right is to put one’s self in a position where they’re ready to buy but not in a time crunch to buy. Owners looking to sell should pay attention to the activity and interest in their immediate vicinity to gauge when the time is right.

As usual, I have included data for the number of homes sold in Bozeman during the first 10 months of 2015. In addition to the 862 homes sold during this time period, another 149 homes are currently pending, or under contract, as of the date of writing this article.
The included data reflects sales of homes on less than and more than 1 acre in the greater Bozeman area, including Four Corners, Gallatin Gateway, Bridger Canyon, and Bozeman city limits. The data includes home sales reported through the local Southwest Montana MLS, and does not include private party sales, Condominiums, or Townhouses.   

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