I meet with many buyers preparing to list their homes or property, who have expressed the idea that the real estate market in this region/ on the Island, is very seasonal. The opinion is that potential buyers begin looking in late March; they look for a couple of months, find a house, and move over in early June or thereabouts. There is also a shoulder season between September and November 15th, if we have a clear, crisp fall, rather than a season which is rainy, stormy, and dank. In many past years, this has been a valid concept.
However, during the last three years, the real estate patterns of the past have changed. There has been little consistency in “buying seasons”— this year being a perfect example. In 2011, there was marginal buying activity during what would usually have been our prime months—May until the end of August. There was activity early in the year, a slight up- tick in September and significant activity—with many properties reaching mutually accepted offers—between September and the end of the year. Seven of the most expensive sales for the entire year, happened between September 15 and January 15th!
The reason behind this sudden spurt of activity in the coldest, usually darkest part of the year, might be due to the fact that interest rates are low, inventory of homes for sale is low, economic risk factors are lower than they have been in three years, and pent up buyer demand is high; people have been waiting for the market to bottom, and there are some indicators that this has, in fact, happened.
If you are thinking of selling your home this year, the time to prepare and list is now! There is significant buying activity, for whatever reason, so consider the concept that people have been waiting to buy a house for years, and they have turned that corner.