Today it is snowing again, and they are saying we might get somewhere around 6 inches. I did all my errands this morning, before it got really bad and now it looks like we can't get out until the snow plow comes. Winter in the Twin Cities causes real estate activity to slow down. Compared to July, it really slows down. But it doesn't have to be your worse enemy.
If you look at the graph below for the past three winters, 2005-2007, you can see that there is a huge dip around December.
- red represents New Listings
- blue represents Pending Sales
- yellow represents Closed Sales
With so many holidays clustered around each other, people have other things on their mind besides buying a home. Buyers don't have the money to buy because they are shopping for Christmas, and sellers aren't listing their homes because they know market activity slows way down at this time.
However, it might be good to remember that as a buyer, your best deal could be made in the winter months. Homes that have been on the market for a while are itching to sell before the flood gate of new listings opens up in April. For instance, if we ever need a new vehicle, we always buy in December. Car dealerships see their lowest sales during this month so we know we have more negotiating power. It is the same with real estate.
Along the same guidelines, the number of active homes is less, and means that the competition is less. Sellers have a better chance of selling in this atmosphere because their neighbor is waiting for Spring to sell.
So in a way, selling/buying in the winter months is a win-win for both sides of the real estate transaction. It all just depends on how you want to view it. I often tell clients to wait until after New Years to list a home. The first couple weeks the listing hits the market are crucial, but if the listing comes on the market when no one is looking, then you have just wasted the "good news", so to speak.
If you have any questions about selling during the winter months here in the Twin Cities, don't hesitate to ask!