Time change and home shopping
I love the long days of summer, when the sun stays up until after 7pm, and it seems like there’s just so much more day to fill.
Then October rolls around and those days start getting shorter naturally.
Then November blows in and daylight savings time ends, pushing sunset to around 5pm – the time many people are just leaving the office. When the sun goes down so early, I feel like it’s time to just go home, slip into my jammies, and relax. Even if it’s only 6pm!
The end of daylight savings time brings a change in home shopping habits as well.
With darkness descending so early in the day, it shortens the time available for home buyers to view properties. After all, you can’t exactly see the exterior details of a home after sunset.
Weekend appointments become even more common.
Buyers sacrifice lunch hours in order to view a home during daylight hours.
Agent schedules become more jam packed as “working hours” are shortened by the season.
Does this really change the market?
Not until January.
Over the last 3 years, the number of homes sold in October through December has been, on average, at or slightly below the yearly average. But January and February are consistently the months each year with the lowest sales volume. Back that up by 60-90 days and what do you find? The end of daylight savings time.
Of course, the holidays have an impact on those beginning of year sales numbers as well. When there are so many demands on personal time, buyers will put aside a home search for a few weeks unless it’s imperative for them to move quickly (think relocations or leases ending).
Does this mean you should wait to put your home on the market?
Possibly, but not necessarily. The time it’s taking to sell a West Bank home has been dropping consistently over the last 3 years. If you’re prepared to make a move before the end of the year, go ahead. List now.
If you prefer to spend the holidays not worrying about making your bed every morning, there’s nothing wrong with waiting until January. Just don’t wait too long into the new year, because that spring season – and another time change – will be here before you know it.