Current State of the Market (March 2023)

Current State of the Market (March 2023)

Spring market is just around the corner!  Traditionally, we see the highest inventory levels from April through June.  This dynamic is considered to be due to the thawing winter on the front end, and schools starting up on the back end.  For example, it’s not ideal to show houses with snow covered grounds and unsafe driving conditions.  Also, you tend to get fewer parties attending open houses.  Meanwhile in the summer, once you’re into July, a buyer is unlikely to be able to move into their new house and settle down before the start of their children’s school in September.  That said, we do usually see a bump in inventory in September and October.  I consider the Spring the “last chance” market where a seller needs to sell-- a common scenario is the seller wasn’t able to find a buyer in the Fall and is now stuck finding a buyer in the Spring market. In this market, you’re basically removing the buyer pool with school-aged children, since no one wants to switch their kids’ schools mid-semester.  

Another theory to the local seasonal nature of inventory is that people generally like to buy and sell houses in warm weather.  July and August are slow since people in the Boston-area tend to go on vacation in August due to school schedules.  Even if you don’t have kids, your boss might have kids, or your colleagues have kids, making for a slower pace at the office in August, and therefore easier to go on vacation when everyone else is doing the same.  If everyone’s on vacation in August, you don’t want to sell your house in July, since if you end up in the situation where your house doesn’t sell right away, it’ll be sitting on the market all of August when very few people are looking to purchase. 

See the charts below for various sets of data across towns and housing types.  Each chart is organized by monthly inventory.  You’ll see in the first chart that June and September had the highest average inventories for Cambridge condos.  Inventory data is taken from when a property got listed.  Also note that unsold properties were deleted from the data set.  








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