You have to be careful not to take a too narrow view of the market to see overall trends, but it can also be helpful to see what the market is doing from week to week. That is what I do with my Market Watch, which is part of my Weekly Updates that you can receive via email each week simply by submitting your email to subscribe on the right side of this page.
Each week I pull data from the MLS for the last 7 days. then add it to data from the previous 7 weeks to take a look at the 8-week trend. The Market Watch graph on the left is the latest one, which went out in yesterday’s weekly newsletter. You can see the distinct downward trend of the fall season. What I find very interesting is how closely aligned the new listings and pending sales were for the past two weeks… an indication of how closely buyers are watching for new listings to appear and are ready to pounce in this seller’s market with a shortage of listings.
The price changes reflect not falling sales prices, but seller’s drops in list price on properties that aren’t selling. That trend is also distinctly falling, consistently below new listings but closely intertwined with pending sales.
To get a broader overview, I charted weekly stats from March 3, 2016 through November 10, 2017 in the chart below. You can see that the downward trend at this time of year is not new… and if it follows previous trends new listings will continue to fall and bottom out in December… and rise again in the new year.
So what does this mean for you if you are thinking of selling or buying a home? It shows that the supply of homes for sale drops significantly at the end of the year. Home sales also drop, but are much stronger in relation to the number of new listings at this time of year than in spring high market months when there are many more listings coming on the market. Bottom line is, buyers at this time of year tend to gobble up new listings even more than at other times of the year, largely because there are so few of them… and also respond to changes in list price on properties that don’t sell immediately.