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.

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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