The busy home-shopping season will start early in January this year, according to forecasters. The month of January in recent years has tended to have the second-most listing views across the year (just 1% below February), according to realtor.com® data.
With sub-4% mortgage rates, low unemployment, and higher wages, industry insiders are expecting a bustling winter real estate season.
“The shift to January’s newfound popularity does not mean that the other prime spring months have become less competitive,” says Nicolas Bedo, an economic data analyst for realtor.com®. “Realtor.com® data shows that views per listing used to ramp up into spring, but now competition starts high in January and stays high … What used to be a lopsided bias for April is now a feverish search starting in January, staying consistently competitive across the first four months of the year as hopeful home buyers look for just the right home.”
Seattle may be the busiest in January. The metro area saw the biggest jump in January home shopping with a 32% increase over its next highest month in listing views, according to realtor.com®. McAllen, Texas, landed at number two with a 14.9% increase.
“Although it lagged February, January saw a surge, ranking as the top month in 20 of the 100 largest metro areas, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, San Jose, California, and Denver,” Bedo says. For comparison, “in 2018, that was true for just three of the top 100 metros.”
Source: “New Analysis: January Home Shopping Is Getting More Popular,” The Mortgage Reports (Dec. 31, 2019)