Let’s start by recapping the conversation. The real estate market is a shared collaboration between Buyers and Sellers. An ongoing co-creation that happens between those who are listing and those who are looking. Without enough of one or enough of the other or enough of both, the whole thing just doesn’t succeed very well. It gets harder to generate sales – which is exactly where we are at for the moment.
Right now, both sides seem to have settled into a tacit mutual agreement that allows them to take a time out and to beat a quiet retreat to their respective corners. Presumably, they’ll wait it out there until the magic moment “in the spring,” when the machinery cranks back up again.
I know … it’s supposed to happen this way. Exactly this way. It’s all part of “the normal seasonal pattern”.
Every year around this time, as the theory goes, people become overly-absorbed with the holidays. Caught up in the crunch. Obsessed with family, shopping and parties. Or obsessed withpreserving their sanity in the face of all of the above. What are you reading this real estate section for? Get busy and be with your family!
But is that all this is? The same old same old seasonal pattern? Is it that simple?
I’ve never been a big fan of the seasonal real estate theory. It has always seemed like an excuse to take the easy way out. When in doubt – pull out the seasonal card. When you know what’s happening you don’t need it to explain something more complicated.
I’m not comfortable rounding up all the factors at work shaping the market dynamic at any given time so I can lump them under the heading of the one of real estate’s lowest common denominators. Like the weather. Or the holidays. Or Springbreak. Or tax time. Or school starting in the fall.
Do real estate transactions really falloff because everyone is on vacation or because it is raining? Are they cliché-dependent? Those concepts are becoming less helpful each year,specially as the world grow more diverse and continues to change in strange and mysterious ways.
So let’s put away our handy excuse to explain why things have wound down to such a noticeable degree right now. Something bigger is at work that we should be trying to figure out. This is the 45th straight month the number of listings hasfallen below the same month the previous year. I think it’s trying to tell us something.