Now that we’re officially in the holiday season, it’s assumed that retail shopping and other seasonal festivities detract from house hunting. Realtor.com recently did some calculations to detemine if that is in fact the case. The results are a bit surprising.
What Realtor.com Measured
Realtor.com measured interest in shopping for a home by analyzing their traffic data. Since the website publishes home listings and provides an easy-to-use search, these data points seemed logical. They compared traffic data from Thanksgiving Day 2014 against an average day within 2014’s fourth quarter. Here’s what they found:
- Thanksgiving Day traffic was slower. No surprise here. It’s a big day of feasting and football. By Saturday, traffic was back to it’s usual levels.
- Open houses are down for the following weekend — only 6% of listings. Brave sellers have less competition and motivated buyers take advantage of the post-Thanksgiving slowdown and Black Friday frenzy.
- States with warmer weather experience less of a slowdown. Hawaii dipped only 10% yet 60% of New Hampshirites stay away from the house hunt.
- The most shocking stat was this: December 28, 2014 was actually one of the busiest days for real estate searches… of the entire year! Realtor.com surmises that holiday revelers are still on break from work and have time to look for their dream home. Makes sense.
- There’s a surge of activity on New Year’s day.
As we race to the end of 2015, let’s consider that the SF Bay Area is a unique market unto itself. According to the California Association of Realtors, they reported:
- California pending sales bounced back in October. There was a 0.9% gain from September to October 2015, a better than average increase in the last seven years.
- Pending sales in the SF Bay Area rose 16.3%.
- One in four homes closed above asking price in October.
- Approximately two-thirds of properties received multiple offers.
- Listing appointments and open house traffic dipped in October due to seasonal factors.
- 22% of Realtors are concerned about housing affordability, followed by lack of inventory (21%) and overinflated home prices (16%).
- 4 out of 5 Realtors believe market conditions will improve or remain the same during the next year.
Based upon personal experience, I’ve found the holiday season to be a great time to buy or sell. There’s less competition and often room to negotiate.
Photo credit: ProFlowers