Like any area of business, real estate experiences its peaks and valleys. Therefore, it's a good idea for people looking either to buy or sell to become familiar with its seasonal trends. Since Florida seems to stand apart from other states in so many ways, our season is a little different, offering unique opportunities for buyers and sellers.
Throughout the country, the winter months of December and January are pretty slow in the housing market. The holidays keep people busy and bank accounts somewhat limited, and most folks aren't prone to exploring open houses when it's cold outside.
But Florida isn't like most of the country. With the mild winters here, people start house hunting after the holidays. According to Trulia, search traffic for real estate in Florida is over 10% higher in January than the rest of the continental United States. As a matter of fact, Florida is the one state where online real estate searches peak in February.
When real estate searches in most of the country peak in March, that's when Florida home sales start rising, and the upward trend continues throughout the summer. It's estimated that across the country, almost 50% of home sales in the U.S. occur in May, June, July, and August.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you can't try to buy or sell a home in the lean months. However, if you're looking, there won't be as many listings, which limits your choices; if you're selling, there won't be as many buyers, limiting your leads. Nevertheless, where there's a will, there is often a way.
Because Florida is a haven for snowbirds, a number of them are always looking to upgrade, or sometimes downgrade, while they're here. The first wave arrives in October and generally stays through March. While they're likely to put up their feet through the holidays like everyone else, many of them do use their first couple months down here to adjust their living situations, so they can sometimes be the bringers of good deals in what is otherwise an “off” season.
The next wave of snowbirds arrives after Christmas. Some of them like to make it here for New Year's Eve, and the rest show up shortly after. This is a group of much more "part-time" Floridians, but dipping their feet in the Gulf of Mexico in January does get them thinking about full-time scenarios. It's possible they are a big part of why real estate searches in Florida peak during those first two months of the year.
Throughout the summer, a variety of visitors pass through Florida: families on vacation, international visitors looking to invest in American property (and where better to own than Florida?), and people relocating for new jobs. While the real estate market in Florida does have its highs and lows like anyplace else, the market also thrives here like nowhere else.
If you're looking to either buy or sell a home in the Sarasota area, professional REALTOR® Julian Yates is here to help make this your best season yet. Contact Julian
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist