Uncategorized September 6, 2021

The Return of Seasonality?

The question I hear everyone debating right now is when will the “Summer Slump” end or if it already has. Interestingly, I am no longer hearing if the “Summer Slump” will end. Brokers and sellers are debating if the recent upswing in market activity is real or just a couple of atypical data points. So far, it’s fairly hard to point to anything in the metrics I track to come up with a definitive answer.

Looking at the interplay of the number of single family homes Under Contract and Available doesn’t yet show a definitive change, but you can maybe imagine an uptick in UC numbers and a downtick in Available numbers in the last week in the chart below. We would want confirmation of those ticks with another 2-3 weeks of data before feeling comfortable declaring a change. This chart also shows how atypical this year has been when compared to past seasonal patterns, especially in the Available homes line which is 2.5 times lower than the five year average. There really are not many homes out there for sale!

The next chart shows the last 12 years of the Single Family # Available lines instead of showing the five year average. When you look at that mass of data, it is comforting how steady and predictable our market usually is. There are changes in the amplitude of the peaks and valleys, but the general seasonal pattern of how inventory builds in our market is remarkably consistent. Until that is we go through a global pandemic! Here’s to hoping we truly have returned to our predictable seasonal patterns.

If we have returned to “normal” seasonality, the typical fall pattern calls for modest improvement in market activity through mid-November. I think whether or not we see that pattern this fall will tell us a lot about what next spring will look like. If this fall follows the typical seasonal pattern, I would expect next spring to follow the typical frenzied spring seasonal pattern. If this fall is slower than expected however, that could signal a slower spring 2022.

Be well!