Home Sales Aren’t Really All That Seasonal

The Wall Street Journal reports that this could be one of the weakest spring homebuying seasons in a while. But this paragraph caught my eye:

The next few months are a critical test of the housing market, as buyers look to get into contract on a home before summer vacations and the new school year. About 40% of the year’s sales take place from March through June, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Wait. They’re saying that 40 percent of sales take place in 33 percent of the months. That doesn’t make spring sound all that critical. But it got me curious, so here’s a chart of average new home sales since 1963:

March-June is indeed the busiest period of the year. But not by much, really. The holiday season is obviously a laggard, but the entire rest of the year hovers between 50-60 thousand new homes per month. Since 1963, the March-June period has accounted for 37.5 percent of the year’s sales and July-October has accounted for 33.4 percent.

Now, this is sales of new homes only. Perhaps sales of existing homes are more seasonal? I’m not sure why they would be, but it’s possible. Unfortunately, that data is available only from the National Association of Realtors, which distributes only seasonally adjusted figures. That’s not of much use when you’re looking for seasonal trends.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate