Maybe you have heard people say that as the temperatures cool, so does the housing market. While this may depend on geographic location and which houses you are looking at, historically residential real estate can see a lull in the winter holiday season and beginning of the new year.
It’s important to understand these trends because you can actually make them work to your advantage!
First, ere is a month-by-month look at the average “state of the market” by season in the U.S.:
Supply typically goes down—New listings are rare, some sellers take their homes off the market to enjoy the last of summer vacation and many buyers slow their search to focus on preparing for the school season to start. Supply and demand are low compared to the spring; so are prices.
The fall season is similar to spring, with some sellers putting their home back on after school has begun and fall is in swing. Overall, the volume of homes for sale is lower than the spring market, but sellers and buyers are back from vacations and serious about selling and buying. Prices may go up slightly.
The supply of homes typically is only the remains of what has been listed in September but not sold and the demand for homes is moderate. As the days get darker earlier and temperatures get colder, however, demand drops and sellers usually consider a price reduction so they are not stuck with an empty home over the winter months.
Supply and demand in November both decline—typically only sellers who really need to sell their home will put it on the market and only buyers who really need to purchase a home will bother to go out in the cold to look.
The rate of new homes for sale goes way down until late winter or early spring (even later if it is a cold or snowy winter). Buyers are still looking and purchasing if the prices are right, but there are fewer of them. Many of the listings on the market are older listings that did not sell in the fall market.
Supply is down, demand is down and prices are down in January. Most properties for sale are leftover listings, estates sales or relocation sales.
The month of February is usually similar to January, however some sellers may try to get a jump on the spring market by listing their homes near the end of the month. This tends to happen more often if the winter season was mild. There are still few buyers out looking and prices are still low, but some properties will sell higher to buyers who have been waiting for something new through the winter months.
Once spring hits, the housing market is back in full swing and the spring and summer months are peak selling seasons. Both supply and demand are high.
What does this mean for your home strategy?
Don’t be bogged down by a “lull” in home sales–this can actually work to your advantage! In the cooler months, fewer listings on the market may actually be better for those of you looking to list/sell your home. The likelihood of getting a showing or an offer where there isn’t as much inventory on the market is higher because the competition is lower.
For buyers, these lower-inventory months may also be advantageous to securing your next home at a steal; sellers are looking to secure the sale of their home and, with less offers coming in, may entertain the idea of accepting offers that come in during time.
Our informed agents and staff can help you understand when the best time is to buy or sell regardless of the season—we can make any season a great season for selling or buying a home! Contact us today!