It’s that special time of the year: School is ready to begin, days are getting shorter, and the colleges and high schools are eagerly gearing us up for football.
And you’d think the quick pace of home sales will continue—right? Not so fast – not the seasonally adjusted rates Realtors are used to following.
Seasonal adjustments show us that as inventory sits on the market longer, buyers start to get better deals. The summer peak of inventory, high sale prices, and competition – is over.
But each local market has its own cycle:
Families with kids start into the home search once the hustle and bustle of back to school and vacations are over.
Economic activity can substantially drive the market regardless of the season – witness the industry expansion of Sioux City and Le Mars. These factors can keep certain sectors HOT.
Snow and nasty weather influences the cycle – you have to see the curb to have curb appeal!
DON’T FALL PREY TO HERD MENTALITY
A certain amount of herd mentality influences the market peak – sellers list and buyers buy in summer. But is this really the smart thing for buyers to do? With peak demand in the summer, sellers command the highest price. And buyers pay the higher prices, due to competition, and quicker turning inventory.
IN FALL AND WINTER….DAYS ON THE MARKET MATTER….
When sales are slower due to the season, the age of inventory rises. I monitor the median days on market of active listings, which typically is lowest in June and highest in the winter – this presents an opportunity for buyers.
As the homes sit on the market longer, buyers gain more leverage. That’s why prices are also seasonal, best deals for buyers being had in fall and winter months when inventory ages.
So take heart, would-be buyers! If you have resisted the herd, you will face less competition and lower prices in the off-season. And if you can find a home that fits your needs, you will have more bargaining power.