School has begun, days are getting shorter, and the networks are eagerly trying to gear us up for football. And home sales are still brisk—despite historical four-seasons-layered-croppedseasonally adjusted outcomes we’re used to seeing.

Seasonal adjustments help make data that are inherently seasonal easier to compare month to month. You can’t get a good picture of whether it’s a good or bad year by comparing typically slow January with typically busy July. But they also lull us into a false sense of reality that all months are similar, or merely go up and down based on the strength of the market.

The raw data tell us that real estate follows a clear seasonal pattern. Inventory peaks in the summer. Sales peak in the summer. Real estate Web traffic peaks in the summer. Notice the trend?

But each local market has its own cycle. The school calendar plays a big role since families with kids prefer to move while school is out. And not all schools start at the same time.

Looking at existing-home sales data at the national level over the past several years, June averages almost twice the volume of sales as January. But inventory doesn’t vary quite as much. The typical peak for inventory is in July, but the inventory in July is usually only about 25% higher than in December. The discrepancy between the variation in sales and the variation in inventory presents an opportunity for buyers.

When sales are slower due to the season, the age of inventory rises. We monitor the median days on market of active listings, which typically bottoms in June and peaks in the winter months of December and January.

As the age of inventory increases, buyers could gain more leverage. That’s why prices are also seasonal, often peaking each summer when demand is highest and the age of inventory is lowest.

So take heart, would-be buyers! If you can resist the herd and ignore the school calendar , you will face less competition in the off-season. And if you can find a home that fits your needs, you will have more bargaining power! More info HERE

2015, September: With more than 25 years of top producing, high ranking, client focused performance, Gloria Matlin remains the consummate real estate professional for Chicago’s North Shore. Dedicated to making dreams come true and providing the highest quality service for each and every client, Gloria Matlin is the real estate resource you want for every season. See introduction HERE

Advertisements