Most years, the residential real estate market has a noticeable lull in buyer activity that generally runs from July 4th through Labor Day. The general consensus is, unless a buyer is up against some deadline to move, such as the start of the school year or by a date certain, enough buyers go away on vacations, or head to the beach or head to the hills on weekends that there is a significant drop in attendance at open houses and for appointments to look at property.
So we also usually see a slowdown in the number of homes being brought onto the market and in the number of open houses at this time of year. We also experience a slowdown in the number of buyers requesting information or appointments, and from new buyers entering the market. This slowdown almost always starts just before or after July 4th and ends the weekend after Labor Day.
With by far the hottest market in the Boston area since at least 2006, I was expecting the Spring rush and overheated competition to last well into July, this year. With the lowest mortgage interest rates, ever, the most multiple-offer situations Iíve experienced since 2004, and the lowest inventory Iíve seen in many years in most neighborhoods and at most price points, I thought weíd still have lots of disappointed buyers desperately trying to put homes under agreement in time to move in by mid-to-late August so they could be in their new homes in time for the kids to start the new school year.
Instead, my phone and email inquiries dropped off a cliff in mid June. I still have plenty to do for my existing clients, but I havenít gotten inquiries from new buyers or sellers since early June. Iíve even had two consecutive Sundays and one Saturday with no appointments to show property. Thatís a first for me since at least February.
This drop-off is nothing new, but Iím used to seeing it in early July, not in early June. If this slowdown continues for any length of time, we could start seeing some less-arrogant behavior on the part of some sellers and listing agents, compared to what weíve seen so far this year.
Next week, Iíll write about how buyers can benefit from such lulls in the market.
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