As temperatures cool, many housing markets across the country also see a thaw in sales. In fact, 80 percent of U.S. counties see a slowdown in the time it takes to sell a home starting in September, according to realtor.com®. But a few markets buck that trend.
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In some markets, the cold weather heats up home-buying, such as in Colorado’s San Miguel County, a locale nestled in the Rocky Mountains. Telluride, Colo., sees its median days on the market drop significantly after the fall season and the market usually has its fastest performance in December.
Other housing markets like Tucson, Ariz. in Pima County; Meagher County in Montana; and Catron County in New Mexico also tend to perform strongly in the winter months, according to a new analysis by realtor.com®.
In some of the nation’s hottest areas, the housing markets actually improve in the fall. For example, Arizona’s Yuma County – where temperatures hit an average high of 107 degrees Fahrenheit in July – sees its median days on the market increase in June and August.
Areas in Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia – where temperatures mostly remain mild throughout the year – also tend to see home sales perform strongly in the winter. In Baton Rouge, La., the prime home-buying season tends to kick off in September and lasts until November.
“It’s a function of how accommodating the weather is, rather than a straight relationship to temperature,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “Think about how half of the country can have severe winter weather, and how disruptive snow and ice are on real estate. You can’t see it, you can’t build, you can’t inspect, you can’t move.”
Severe weather can dampen the mood among buyers for real estate. In New York’s Onondaga County, homes tend to stay on the market twice as long in the winter as in the summer, according to realtor.com®.
Source: ‘Where to Find the Hottest Markets in the Coldest Months of the Year,’ realtor.com® (Sept. 21, 2015)