Summer's great for a lot of reasons, but it may not be the best time to buy a home. A hot summer market means competition, higher prices, and faster sales. That can be stressful for home buyers. But things begin to change near the end of September, as the fall market begins. And, according to a new analysis from the National Association of Realtors' consumer website, early fall may be the best time of the year to buy a house. “If you're flexible on your timing and can budget for higher rates, early fall can be a great time to secure a home, with a number of factors aligning to make it the best time of the year both in terms of price and competition,” Danielle Hale, the website's chief economist, says. “This is especially true for first-time buyers and others who are not trying to sell a home at the same time as their purchase.” The analysis found that fall buyers can expect approximately 46 percent more available homes for sale compared to the average week to date. It also found, relative to summer's peak, buyers would save an average of around $20,000 on the price of their home.