June 21 marked the first day of summer. But to Realtors, only one season matters: home-buying season, which occurs annually from March to September.
Seasonality presents important implications for buyers and sellers, and is naturally most pronounced in markets with seasonal change. But other factors like the school year and expiring leases have a lot to do with home-buying season as well.
"Most buyers don't want to move in the middle of a snowstorm, and most sellers realize their house will show better when buyers can see the beautiful flowers, the landscaped lawn," says Matt Phipps, a Realtor at Phipps Real Estate in Warwick, R.I. "A new roof will show really well from a curb-appeal standpoint in spring or summer compared with having snow covering it."
Online home search data supports observable evidence of seasonality. Nationally, online real estate searches pick up in January, peak in March and April, dip in May, peak again in June and July, then slow to a low in December, according to home search and information website Trulia.com in San Francisco.Trulia Chief Economist Jed Kolko says search activity swings with the seasons in every state. "If it's too cold or wet to check out open houses, people search less online. In general, people search more online when it's warm and dry outside," he says.