Labor Day marks the end of summer – and the end of the traditional house-hunting season. Based on properties viewed on the Trulia website for the full years of 2011-2013, home search activity jumps in March, stays high through summer, and then falls below the annual average in September and stays that way until the new year begins. Nationally, home searches for September and October combined are 6% below the annual average.
Does that mean that everyone looking to buy or sell a home in 2014 has missed the boat? Not necessarily. Every local market has its own seasonal pattern for house hunting. Comparing September and October search activity with annual averages in 2011-2013, we found markets where the autumn slowdown is slight. And there are a handful of local housing markets where autumn is actually prime house-hunting season – mostly vacation areas that are in the mountains and forests but not near the beach.