• Sports fans might have a handicap when it comes to finding the best deal on a home, according to a new RealtyTrac big data analysis of 32 million single-family home and condo sales over the past 15 years.
  • The analysis found that October was among the best times to buy -- followed by February, july, January and December.
  • Why October? Perhaps because October is the only month in the year when all four major professional sports are either in regular season (NFL, NBA, NHL) or post-season (MLB).

Sports fans might have a handicap when it comes to finding the best deal on a home, according to a new RealtyTrac big data analysis of 32 million single-family home and condo sales over the past 15 years.

The analysis found that October was the best month to buy furthest below market value; it’s followed by February, July, January and December. With the glaring exception of July, all those months fall in line with the real estate rule of thumb that the fall and winter months are the best times to buy.

Less competition from buyers thanks to colder weather and families not wanting to uproot in the middle of the school year are among the reasons for fall and winter being the best time to buy.

But why is October better than the other fall and winter months? It’s not the coldest month. In fact, it’s the second-warmest after September among fall and winter months, according to data from NOAA crunched by RealtyTrac.

Professional sports seasons might explain part of why October stands out. October is the only month in the year when all four major professional sports are either in regular season (NFL, NBA, NHL) or post-season (MLB).

Could these sports being diverting a substantial number of potential homebuyers, creating less competition and therefore more negotiating power for those buyers who are not so fanatical about sports?

Daren Blomquist is the vice president of RealtyTrac.

Email Daren Blomquist.

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