You’ll often hear about the spring buying season in real estate. But this year winter may be the hot season!
Historically, the number of buyers searching for homes as well as properties for sale increase in the spring and remain strong throughout the summer.
Last year, however, that seasonality didn’t happen. The outbreak of the virus and subsequent slowing of the economy limited sales during the spring market. These sales were pushed back later in the year, and last fall and winter saw a dramatic increase in home sales over previous years. The only thing that held the market back was the limited supply of homes for sale.
What About This Winter?
Some experts thought we’d return to the industry’s normal seasonality this winter with both the number of purchasers and houses available for sale falling off. However, data now shows that neither of those situations will likely occur. Buyer demand is still extremely strong, and it appears we may soon see a somewhat uncharacteristic increase in the number of homes coming to the market.
Buyer Demand Remains Strong
The latest Showing Index from ShowingTime, which tracks the average number of monthly showings on available homes, indicates buyer activity was slightly lower than at the same time last year but much higher than any of the three previous years (see chart above).
The only question heading into this winter is whether the number of homes available could come close to meeting this buyer demand. We may have just received the answer to that question.
Sellers Are About To List – Right Now
Instead of waiting for the normal spring buying market, new research indicates that homeowners thinking about selling are about to put their homes on the market this winter.
Speaking to the release of a report on this recent research, George Ratiu, Manager of Economic Research for realtor.com, said:
“The pandemic has delayed plans for many Americans, and homeowners looking to move on to the next stage of life are no exception. Recent survey data suggests the majority of prospective sellers are actively preparing to enter the market this winter.”
Here are some highlights in the report:
Of homeowners planning to enter the market in the next year:
- 65% – Have just listed (19%) or plan to list this winter
- 93% – Have already taken steps toward listing their home
- 36% – Have researched the value of their home and others in their neighborhood
- 36% – Have started making repairs or decluttering
The report also discusses the reasons sellers want to move:
- 33% – Have realized they want different home features
- 37% – Say their home no longer meets their family’s needs
- 32% – Want to move closer to friends and family
- 23% – Are looking for a home office
Data shows buyer demand remains unusually strong going into this winter. Research indicates the supply of inventory is about to increase. If you’re thinking of buying or selling, now is the time to have a heart-to-heart conversation with one of our Ryan Dallas Real Estate professionals in our market, as things are about to change in an unexpected way.