Did you know that the holidays are among the best times of the year to buy a home? Put a gift-wrapped set of house keys under your Christmas tree and ring in the new year with a new abode you’ll love. Here are a few reasons why now is the time.

Home prices aren’t going down.The U.S. Economic Outlook from the National Association of REALTORS in September 2019 predicts that this year will end with a median national home price of $269,600, while home prices in 2020 will reach $278,500, a difference of $8,900 or 3%. In fact, home prices steadily rose for 89 months as of July 2019

Within the Billings area home prices in the Billings Multiple Listing Service area, the overall change from 2018 to 2019 for Residential Sale Prices by area have gone up 7%, on average.  In the past 5 years, sale prices have gone up 18% overall, on average.  The largest amount of growth in the past year within the 8 sections of the Billings market was in South Billings, with a 9% growth change.  The least amount of growth was in the Lockwood/Emerald Hills area, with a decrease of 10% in home sales. Overall, for all Billings areas, the average YTD sale price is $274,933.  The highest YTD sales are in the Red Lodge Market.

The Billings Multiple Listing Service area includes all of Billings, broken up into 8 sections, as well as Laurel, Shepherd/Huntley, Columbus/Absarokee and Red Lodge.

Mortgage interest rates are favorable. Advises Mortgagereports.com, mortgage interest rates are at or near three-year lows and are expected to stay low, making it possible for fall homebuyers to lock in record-low interest rates. That’s something to give thanks over in November! Lower rates make homes more affordable than they were a year ago, when rates were higher.

Less competition for homes. In the United States, over 51% of homes were sold in less than a month in July 2019, as families were pressed to move into their new homes before the new school year that begins every August. Housing traffic historically slows down in cooler weather. Sellers may be more willing to negotiate if they know you’re serious about buying a home. Get pre-qualified for your loan and be willing to move during the holidays, and you could score a great deal.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.