For home buyers chasing a bargain, they may want to act fast. Closings in January provide the best discount for home buyers, according to Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, in his latest column at Forbes. That means buyers can get the best deals when they get a home under contract around December, Yun writes.

Read more: Why Buyers Need to Buy That New Home Now

From peak price in August and September, home prices decline by 0.51 percent by January closings, according to the Case-Shiller index. On a typical home price of $220,000, that discount could equate to about $1,122, Yun writes.

“The seasonal decline is not all price depreciation of homes” in winter, Yun notes. “A good portion of movement is driven by a higher proportion of lower priced and smaller-sized homes getting sold during the winter months. The reason for this is that families with school-aged kids are generally not in the market during the winter because they do not want their kids to be disrupted during a school year, and it is the families with kids that generally require the larger homes that carry higher prices.”

The discounts in the winter and during the holidays may be a perfect opportunity for home buyers looking to break in to the housing market.

“Real estate professionals know this to be true in everyday business since there are far fewer buyers shopping over the holidays; as a result, listed homes staying on the market for a longer period. In short, there is a discount to be had for the few buyers purchasing over the holidays.

Source: “Now Is the Best Season to Buy a Home,” Forbes (Dec. 2, 2015)

Excerpt: Realtor Mag

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