Trulia published the findings from the Trulia Real Estate Search Report, which tracks and analyzes the online search behavior of U.S. house hunters. Based on all home searches on Trulia from 2007 to 2012, this study provides the inside scoop on the seasonal peaks and valleys in real estate search activity across all 50 states. To see the seasonal pattern, we used a seasonal adjustment model to strip out the upward trend in our search traffic, to reveal whether a state’s search activity in each month is above or below the annual average for that state.
After the holidays, prospective homebuyers and renters typically begin or renew their home search at the start of a new year. At the national level, online real estate search activity picks up in January and reaches its peak in March and April, after stripping out the upward trend from Trulia’s traffic growth over time. Following a slight dip in May, a second peak occurs during the summer months of June and July. As the year ends, home searches slow down, hitting their lowest level in December.
While most online home searches happening at the state level correspond with typical seasonal patterns, local markets follow their own rhythms. For example, in January, search activity in Hawaii and Florida is more than 10 percent above each state’s annual average, but almost 10 percent below the annual average in Maine. Meanwhile, summer is when searches peak in the South, and a few states in the Northwest and Northeast. The last two states to peak are Montana and Oregon in August. By October, every state is below its annual average of search activity, and in December, every state is 10 percent or more below its annual average.
“Home-search activity swings with the seasons in every state. Buyers and sellers can use these ups and downs to their advantage,” says Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist. “Sellers looking for the most buyers should list when real estate search traffic peaks. Buyers, however, should think about searching off-season, when there is less competition from other searchers.
To view the full Real Estate Search Study, click here.
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