The Impacts of Home Sales Seasonality on the Real Estate Market

Angela Porrelli October 7, 2023

The real estate market is always changing, with dozens of factors affecting how quickly homes are bought and sold. From the nation's economy to fluctuations in local housing markets, there are a lot of elements for home buyers and sellers to consider. One of the biggest factors affecting the real estate market is seasonality. This concept has proven to cause fluctuations in the market year after year. This guide breaks down what you need to know about seasonality and how you can make it work for you, whether you are preparing to buy a home or planning to sell one.

What does seasonality mean in real estate?

Seasonality is the idea that the prices of homes and the supply and demand nature of the real estate market can change based on the season. These seasonal factors could include holidays as well as major shifts in the weather. It's important to note that there are both national and local seasonality trends, and depending on where you live, you could experience a hot market while someone in another state could be struggling with painfully slim pickings.

Data has shown that the most active time in the real estate market is from May to July. The market tends to slow down later in the year, with fewer homes being sold from October to December. Of course, this is an overall look at real estate data over time. Every region and state has its own set of hyper-focused statistics that illustrate how the market can change throughout a single year.

How can seasonality affect home sales?

There are a few reasons why the real estate market tends to cool down in the colder months. These reasons include:

  • The holidays: The busy holiday season late in the year means there's little time to focus on buying or selling a home.
  • Moving is harder in cold weather: Moving is a big job, which could explain why fewer people tend to buy homes later in the year when the weather tends to be colder.
  • School commitments: Families with children in school might hesitate to move during the academic year. Buying a home in a new school district is a big change, which is why these families likely tend to look for homes during the summer months when school is out of session.
Seasonality depends on what part of the country you live in and what the weather is like in your area. Whether you are planning to buy or sell, knowing about your local market can help you be more successful in your real estate ventures.

How sellers can navigate seasonal changes

If you're a seller, planning and preparation are the best ways to tackle the changing real estate market. Seasonality will likely affect you, so the best way to approach the process is to make a structured timeline and try to list as close to the "hot" season as possible. Whether you list in the summer or winter, focus on the factors you can control, such as staging a home to perfection and working with a talented real estate photographer.

During the peak seasons, continue to market aggressively and utilize any connections you have with your local real estate agent. During the slower seasons, deal with seasonality by launching a "drip" marketing campaign that can help you generate new leads, and promote your listing on social media to get more eyes on it.

Methods for buyers to handle seasonal shifts

If you are looking for your dream home and want to prepare for seasonal shifts, the single best thing you can do is contact a local realtor. A real estate agent will have the hyper-focused local insights you need to get a solid idea of what the real estate market looks like month-to-month. They can give you an overview of what to expect and work with you to ensure you maximize every opportunity, whether it's the peak of summer or the winter slowdown.

Most of the time, buyers have a timeline of when they need to purchase a home. If this is your situation, understand that you'll probably face more competition during the late spring and summer. While this means that there will probably be more homes on the market to choose from, it also means that you will need to act fast to get the home you want. You might also have a harder time sticking to your budget during peak seasons since there could be multiple buyers interested in the same home. Be prepared for a possible bidding war and adjust your budget accordingly. Alternatively, if you are looking for a home during the fall or winter, you could have an easier time finding and buying a home since there might be fewer interested parties.

How to handle real estate investing through the seasons

Real estate investors have a unique set of considerations when it comes to seasonality. During the slower seasons, investors might have a hard time finding properties worth investing in, since fewer properties will likely be available. The properties on the market could represent a more significant commitment, possibly requiring more upgrades or renovations than you might be comfortable with.

Peak season will probably feature a lot more investment opportunities, but there could easily be bidding wars over the available real estate. There might also be other investors looking to nab the very same property, leading to fierce local competition. Those properties might also be less likely to need significant repairs or renovations, making them an easier investment opportunity. To stay ahead of shifts in the market and maximize your investment opportunities, work with a realtor. A realtor can give you advance notifications when new properties head to the market, helping you to bypass some of the competition. Ultimately, there are pros and cons when investing in a property regardless of the season.

Angela Porrelli can assist with the changing real estate market

Home sales seasonality is just one factor that can influence your ventures in the real estate market. Whether you are buying, selling, or investing, remaining aware of shifts in the local market and keeping in touch with a talented, experienced realtor can help you be successful. If you want personalized advice and recommendations for your real estate venture, contact Angela Porrelli. We provide high-end home buying and selling services that are guaranteed to help you enjoy the process.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock



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