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This may be the best week in the entire year to buy an apartment

A Realtor.com report says that now is when you can expect a drop in competition from other buyers as families become preoccupied with school.

Austin Havens-Bowen for Brick Underground/Flickr

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Don’t throw in the towel on your apartment-hunt just yet. Even though conventional wisdom in New York City says since it’s fall—when school starts and there’s more demands on your time —it’s time to put your search on hold, now may actually be the best time to buy a place.

A new report from Realtor.com finds that during the week of September 22-28, buyers see more discounts, and more apartments on the market. The survey looks at 53 major markets and found that in 41 of them, market indicators pointed to this week as the optimum period to buy, thanks to sellers looking to make a deal and less competition from other buyers.

George Ratiu, senior economist of Realtor.com, says, with inventory building up, “fall buyers will be in a better position to take advantage of today's low mortgage rates and increased purchasing power."

In New York City (which the report considers along with Newark and Jersey City), you can expect a 22.3 percent dip in buyer competition and a 37.6 percent increase in time-on-market this week, says the Realtor.com report.

But brokers that Brick Underground spoke with say that back to school reflects a more serious mindset for buyers too. 

Martin Eiden, an agent at Compass, says Manhattan and Brooklyn buyers are on a different schedule than the rest of the U.S. “Most of our buyers are away for the summer and resume their home search in the fall. I have had more accepted offers in September to date than all of June, July, and August. For our market, more listings comes on in the fall as buyers resume their search.”

Becki Danchik, an agent at Warburg Realty, says summer is about casual looking. In the fall “buyers have a more serious mindset and they are focused on making a purchase before the end of the year.”

But Michael J. Franco, a broker at Compass, says in his experience, fall buying really starts after the Jewish holidays. “Sellers list right after Labor Day, hoping that the fall season will begin immediately, but buyers hold off and don’t strike yet.” This year, the Jewish holidays start September 30th and end October 21st.