Past real estate market cycles have always shown real estate traffic to start kicking in after the winter holidays. Spring and summer real estate markets have always been the busiest. However, there are some signs that fall may be the new selling season.
Past Market Cycles
Historically, real estate website traffic begins to grow after the winter holidays. Real estate professionals will often tell you the spring real estate market begins right after the Superbowl as sales ramp up in the spring and summer. Prices and home values typically increase in the spring and summer as well. The busiest months for real estate are usually March through July. Children start to go back to school in August so families want to get settled in before the new school year and fall activities.
Real estate normally slows down in the fall. The market is the slowest from the middle of November until after the first of the year as people get busy during the holidays from Thanksgiving through through New Year's day. In cold weather states, people prefer not to move in cold, ice and snow. The super seller's market the past few years has begun to settle and level out a bit. There are signs that the past real estate market cycle may be changing, at least for this year.
Home Prices and Interest Rates
A portion of buyers on the market in the spring and summer ended up being priced out of the market as home values jumped double digit percentages year over year. Also, interest rates nearly doubled from their historically low levels the past few years. Potential buyers found they could not be approved for mortgages at the higher home prices and interest rates. In many markets, prices are leveling off and bringing more buyers out this fall. Home buyers have consulted with their mortgage lenders again and have reevaluated their home buying goals. Right now, serious home buyers are out and are ready to get settled before the holiday season is upon us and the cooler weather begins.
The inventory of homes available for sale has increased. In a September 29 article on Realtor.com it states, "The national inventory of active listings increased by 26.9% over last year." There has been a lack of homes available for sale in the past few years. This has left many buyers on the market looking for homes. Now, buyers should have more homes to choose from and they will continue to sell.
Warm, autumn colors are pleasing to the eyes. So are the scents of autumn. Sellers who list their homes in the fall have these advantages. If you are listing your home this fall, tastefully decorate your home's exterior and interior with oranges, reds, yellows and browns. Boil some fall potpourri on the stove before showings. Include oranges, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, cranberries and cloves in the pot potpourri. Appeal to buyers' senses.
Real estate professionals have been quite busy of late. They have more time to commit to customer service now that the market is balancing out. Real estate agents may have fewer clients now and mortgage lenders have fewer loans to work on. Home appraisers and home inspectors do not have as many appointments and real estate attorneys and escrow companies have more free time for closings. Since the professionals involved in the home purchase and home sale process have more availability, closings can occur more quickly.
The National Association of Realtors' 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trend Report states, "Millennials made up the largest share of home buyers at 43%; boomers made up largest share of home sellers at 42%; Gen Z made up 2% of each. More and more younger home buyers are coming on the market and may not really care what time of year it is. They are just ready to purchase homes.
Late fall and winter will still be a slower real estate market. However, currently, at least this fall, it may just be the new selling season.