Competing schools of thought on this one. Some like to shop during an area's high season. In Phoenix, that would be the spring. That is when the most transactions occur in my particular market. Buyers who shop the high season expect to find more inventory from which to choose. The downside, though, is that there are more buyers in the market as well. Thus, there may be the same or even more competition for the best properties. I tend to like to shop when the buyers are fewer. Here, that is during the summer months as well as between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you are in no rush and don't have to buy, you can find good values when sellers are not getting much traffic. Most importantly, though, it comes down to your own individual needs and goals. Further, many buyers will follow the trends in interest rates just as closely as the trends in housing activity when determining the right time to buy.