Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Expecting an Early Start to the Year

The traditional wisdom in real estate has people talking about the "spring market".  Prices are higher, attendance at open houses goes up, and contracts proliferate.  Sometimes the spring market even becomes the summer market, especially when the winter is lengthy and snowy, as happened last year.

There is another pattern in south central Connecticut, however, that happens for a couple of reasons. One is that we have an unusually high number of colleges and universities, which operate on a July to June calendar (as do most nonprofits, which also exist in large quantities in our region).  That means that offers of employment go out early in the calendar year, with July 1st starting dates. 

Also influencing our timing are the demographics we see.  Our average age in the State tilts high, and our birth rate tilts low (obviously, those two things are related).  That means that relatively fewer households have school-age children, causing their moves to take place according to other factors.  Although we do see many sales occurring in the spring, with closings taking place in the summer, we see lots of people buying at other times of the year.  People buying toward the close of the year are often investors, who are looking at tax considerations.  People buying early are coming into academic jobs or hospital positions.  This is especially true in the city of New Haven.

What that translates to is a paucity of listings in the winter, when the job offers starting coming in.  We are scrounging for homes to show in January and February, especially when we don't have snow on the ground.  We are expecting that to be true this year in spades, since we had activity straight through the holiday season, as well as increased hits to our website. 

We hope that sellers and potential sellers take this information and rush to get their homes ready to show as soon as possible.  While there may be more buyers in the spring, there are very motivated ones now, and the competition is less.  Try it and see for yourself!