As most of us who work in the real estate industry know, spring has traditionally been the “busy season” in our line of work. In some areas of the country, spring selling season starts as early as January, and in many, lasts all the way through summer. Fall selling season, conversely, has typically been a much shorter period of home-buying and -selling. This year, the brokers and agents of ERA Real Estate are reporting that, once again, a “back-to-school” mentality is contributing to a seasonal uptick in real estate activity.
We recently conducted a survey of TeamERA associates asking them for their observations and insights around home-buying and -selling trends this fall. Nearly two-thirds (60 percent) of respondents noted they typically see an uptick in market activity from Labor Day through November each year. Of those who reported that they don’t typically experience a fall selling season, one-third is expecting to see an uptick in activity this year. That means that almost three-quarters of those surveyed anticipate positive activity this fall.
But why? ERA brokers and agents who participated in the survey believe current market conditions and the economy are some of the driving forces behind the increase in fall activity. According to the October Consumer Confidence Index, the overall sentiment among consumers is that the economy will continue to expand and improve at a moderate pace. Specifically, the report found that consumer outlook on the job market was particularly optimistic—those anticipating fewer jobs in the near future declined from 18.1 percent to 17.0 percent from September to October. Additionally, the percentage of consumers expecting a decrease in income declined from 10.4 percent to 9.8 percent. As overall confidence increases, more and more consumers could become motivated to enter the market.
More than half of ERA Real Estate professionals surveyed identified low mortgage rates and an increase in the number of jobs as significant buyer motivations, as well. In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau released its own data around overall trends in household income levels. Their report highlighted that the median income for Americans increased last year for the first time since 2007. The increase, coupled with affordable lending standards, will likely impact market activity positively through the end of the year, especially as the jump in income levels was one of the largest ever recorded.
We also asked our brokers and agents about the types of homebuyers and sellers driving business in their local markets. Nearly half (48 percent) of ERA professionals responded that they are seeing mostly first-time homebuyers, while 40 percent reported mostly downsizing and buyers headed into retirement in their regions. Only 13 percent of those surveyed reported vacation homebuyers as a core demographic in the fall.
Overall, ERA-affiliated professionals across the country are working with all types of clients who are looking to capitalize on positive seasonal market conditions to meet their homeownership goals before the year ends.
For more information, please visit www.era.com.