Home Sales Aren’t Really All That Seasonal

The Wall Street Journal reports that this could be one of the weakest spring homebuying seasons in a while. But this paragraph caught my eye:

The next few months are a critical test of the housing market, as buyers look to get into contract on a home before summer vacations and the new school year. About 40% of the year’s sales take place from March through June, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Wait. They’re saying that 40 percent of sales take place in 33 percent of the months. That doesn’t make spring sound all that critical. But it got me curious, so here’s a chart of average new home sales since 1963:

March-June is indeed the busiest period of the year. But not by much, really. The holiday season is obviously a laggard, but the entire rest of the year hovers between 50-60 thousand new homes per month. Since 1963, the March-June period has accounted for 37.5 percent of the year’s sales and July-October has accounted for 33.4 percent.

Now, this is sales of new homes only. Perhaps sales of existing homes are more seasonal? I’m not sure why they would be, but it’s possible. Unfortunately, that data is available only from the National Association of Realtors, which distributes only seasonally adjusted figures. That’s not of much use when you’re looking for seasonal trends.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate