Trulia (NYSE: TRLA) today published the findings from the Trulia Real Estate Search Report, which tracks and analyzes the online search behavior of U.S. house hunters. Based on all home searches on Trulia from 2007 to 2012, this study provides the inside scoop on the seasonal peaks and valleys in real estate search activity across all 50 states. To see the seasonal pattern, we used a seasonal adjustment model to strip out the upward trend in our search traffic, to reveal whether a state’s search activity in each month is above or below the annual average for that state.
Online House Hunting Hot in March and April, Cold in December
After the holidays, prospective homebuyers and renters typically begin or renew their home search at the start of a new year. At the national level, online real estate search activity picks up in January and reaches its peak in March and April, after stripping out the upward trend from Trulia’s traffic growth over time. Following a slight dip in May, a second peak occurs during the summer months of June and July. As the year ends, home searches slow down, hitting their lowest level in December.
Home Searches in Hawaii, Florida, Montana and Oregon Peak Off-SeasonWhile most online home searches happening at the state level correspond with typical seasonal patterns, local markets follow their own rhythms. For example, in January, search activity in Hawaii and Florida is more than 10 percent above each state's annual average, but almost 10 percent below the annual average in Maine. Meanwhile, summer is when searches peak in the South, and a few states in the Northwest and Northeast. The last two states to peak are Montana and Oregon in August. By October, every state is below its annual average of search activity, and in December, every state is 10 percent or more below its annual average.
|When Online Real Estate Searches Peak|
|* Indicates that real estate search activity does not peak in any state during this month.|
- “ Home-search activity swings with the seasons in every state. Buyers and sellers can use these ups and downs to their advantage,” says Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist. “Sellers looking for the most buyers should list when real estate search traffic peaks. Buyers, however, should think about searching off-season, when there is less competition from other searchers.”
- “Local weather patterns have a big impact on when people search for homes online. If it’s too cold or wet to check out open houses, people search less online,” says Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist. “Search activity in warm-winter states, like Florida and Hawaii, peaks in January and February. But for most of the country, search traffic is highest in March or April, especially in regions where summer brings rain. In general, people search more online when it’s warm and dry outside.”
- To view the full Real Estate Search Study, click here.
- To view an interactive U.S. map illustrating the peaks and valleys of online real estate searches across the country, click here.
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