There’s no doubt this has been the busiest busy season in some time. Spring shutdowns delayed the peak home-buying period by two months, and a pandemic-induced exodus from cities has resulted in a record-setting number of transactions in the suburbs.
But just how busy is busy?
Our data scientists crunched the numbers, and the results are even more mind-blowing than you might have thought.
Properties went under contract 88% faster than last year
The 2019 busy season was considered exceptionally fast-moving, with homes spending an average of 83 days on the market in August. This year? The average number of days has fallen to just ten.
Consumer interest in homeownership more than tripled
Property searches are a great proxy for buyer interest. Generally speaking, the higher the number of searches, the more interested homebuyers on the market.
Property searches peaked at 214% year over year in August (the last month of available data), which seems to indicate that the widespread narrative of urban renters looking to become suburban or rural homeowners is likely to continue beyond the typical busy season period (and the first few months of the pandemic)—and probably into next year, as well.
It’s the sellers’ market to end all sellers’ markets
Stop us if this is obvious: It’s a sellers’ market.
As demand continues to increase, supply has not kept pace: The number of available listings has slightly decreased (4.38%) from the end of summer last year. In fact, save for brief few weeks this past July, volume has been down throughout 2020.
What can agents expect going forward?
Typically, we’d expect homebuyer and seller activities to taper off in the latter half of the summer, as July is usually the peak of busy season. Instead, we’ve seen no indication of a slowdown. August numbers increased over July, and a preliminary look at September data indicates the trend will likely continue. Further still, there seems to be no evidence that the volume of for-sale homes will increase to any significant degree in the short term. In short, there’s no market-driven reason for why these current trends should decelerate.
Still, there’s likely to be some respite as we near cooler weather and, in particular, flu season. As a result, transaction volumes will likely return to typical winter levels before resuming their torrid pace in the spring. Essentially, rather than the normal seasonal cycle of real estate, in which the market more or less resets, we’re predicting this ‘slow season’ to be more of a hibernation.
Expect a busy spring.