Best Season to Buy

Traditionally the spring san summer months have been considered the best time to shop for or buy a home. A recent study released by Trulia (an online real estate information and data site), and appropriately called the Trulia Real Estate Search Report, reveals that the traditional times for home shopping even holds true when doing so from the comfort of your home.

The study tracked and analyzed the differing online search behavior of house hunters between 2007 and 2012, and did so by assessing the “seasonal peaks and valleys” for online searches in all 50 states. The data gathered was used to determine whether a state’s search activity was above or below that state’s annual average for any given month.

Information from the report revealed that potential homebuyers left the holidays behind and jumped into the home search mode at the beginning of each year. January saw a post holiday surge with a spring seasonal peak for online searches occurring around March or April depending on the state.

Data from the report showed a slight dip in searches for May, but this was followed by another spurt in the early summer months with a second annual peak occurring in June or July. After the second peak, searches tapper off with December being the lowest month of the year for online home searching.

Interestingly, online home searches at the state level follow typical seasonal patterns, while many local markets can have their own “rhythms.” Jed Kolko, chief economist of Trulia says, “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.”

Kolko goes on to say that buyers and sellers should use these “ups and downs” to their own shopping and selling advantage. He says, “Buyers…should think about searching off-season, when there is less competition from other searchers.” Sellers, on the other hand, should be looking for buyers in the peak seasons when search traffic is highest.

The following are the seasonal patterns of search activity state by state, and this reflects the peak search months.
January: Hawaii
February: Florida
March: Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington
April: Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin
May: Real estate activity does not peak in any state
June: Mississippi
July: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wyoming
August: Montana and Oregon
During September to December real estate activity does not peak in any state.