While it’s been a commonly held belief that spring and summer are big months for real estate activity, fall is also a popular time as buyers have a back-to-school mentality, want to be in their new house in time for the holidays, and are tax-minded in trying to buy by the end of the year, according to a new survey by ERA Real Estate.
ERA Real Estate has been around for 40 years, developing consumer-oriented products and services in the real estate industry. The ERA network includes some 30,000 brokers and sales associates and approximately 2,400 offices throughout the United States and 35 countries and territories.
“As vacations wind down after Labor Day and people become more focused, the desire to be in a new home for the holidays is a historically strong driver of fall home sales,” said Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate.
The ERA survey reveals 40 percent of respondents like fall for homebuying because of the “back to school” and starting fresh mentality that hits when September and October come around. Twenty percent cite wanting to be in their new home in time for the holidays. And 10 percent want to take advantage of the tax benefit of buying and owning a home.
The biggest group of fall homebuyers are first-time homebuyers at 27 percent, according to the report. Twenty percent are move-up buyers. Some 17 percent are retirees or those downsizing. The remaining 36 percent is made up of investors, military relocations, vacation home buyers, and “other.”
Fall is also a good time from a buyer standpoint as many sellers want to try to sell by the end of the year. Also, sellers in colder climates generally want to sell before the cold weather and snow hit.
How the findings will affect what happens this fall remains to be seen.
The National Association of Realtors reports pending home sales in August 2012 declined after reaching a two-year peak. But the August figures are higher than August 2011.
Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist, said some volatility can be expected in the monthly readings. "The performance in month-to-month contract signings has been uneven with ongoing shortages of lower priced inventory in much of the country, and across most price ranges in the West, but activity has remained at notably higher levels this year," Yun said.
Michele Dawson is a freelance writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. She spent seven years as a newspaper reporter and has written for various magazines and web sites specializing in real estate and home improvement, including Realty Times, SmartHomeowner, California Builder, and the Sacramento Business Journal.