Buying Real Estate in a Slow Market

The real estate market is one of the most influential factors in the American economy. The price of real estate can drive the rest of the economy up or down dramatically. These fluctuations affect the way that we earn and spend money every day.

When the real estate market is in a downward trend, many people shy away from buying a home. They don’t want to enter into a large financial commitment when the market is changing, or they want to buy but not before the market hits absolute bottom.

Most experts agree that there’s nothing wrong with buying during a downward trend in the real estate market. In fact, a slow-moving real estate market may be the perfect time to buy. Prices are down, and sellers are eager to get out of their mortgage and cut their losses. Often, the federal government will cut interest rates in the hopes that you will be encouraged to make large purchases. These factors can add up to the perfect buyer’s market.

If you want to buy a home but plan to wait until the real estate market hits rock bottom, you may want to reconsider. It’s almost impossible to predict when the market will bottom out. By the time it’s widely reported in the media, the real estate market will already be on the upswing.

Buying when the market has been in a downward trend for a while comes with plenty of benefits. You will find lower prices, loaded inventories and sellers who may be willing to make a great deal. A high number of foreclosures means that real estate can sometimes be purchased for a price that’s far less than what it’s worth. Sellers who need to get out of their mortgages quickly to avoid foreclosure are often willing to cut their prices drastically in order to make a quick sale.


Buying real estate in a slow market is not for the short-term investor. If you are planning to occupy the house long-term, you can afford to buy when the market is down and wait for it to improve. But if your plan is to buy a house and sell it within a year or two for profit, you will most likely not make your money back and forget about turning a profit. The real estate market is unlikely to make that large a turnaround in that short a time.

It’s not always easy to buy real estate in a slow market, however, because many sellers are scared off by the prospect of low profits. Sellers know that their home may languish on the market for weeks or months before selling. Most would rather wait for a more positive time.

Buying real estate is a big decision in any market, but it requires special consideration in a slow market. If you aren’t willing to live with your home possibly declining in value for the first few years of your mortgage, you would be better off waiting for a better time to buy. But if you are ready to jump into real estate with both feet, the slow real estate market is the perfect time to find the perfect house. You may even be able to afford a home that was out of your reach before the slowdown.