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Data Report: A Surprise in National “Foot Traffic” Report of Buyers

National buyer “foot traffic” data in the Fall is surprising.

Measured data (grid below) actually shows that the August, September and (especially) October months had more buyer traffic than the traditional Spring crush.

Rules of the past

Many people believe that selling their house during “the spring buyers’ market” is the best thing to do. Their reasoning is that there will be more buyers than there are during the winter months and, therefore, their house will sell quicker and for a higher price.

Historically, this made sense. However, today’s national real estate market is not following the rules of the past.

Source of data

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) measures buyer “foot traffic” each month. It receives data on the number of properties shown to a prospective purchaser by a Realtor® (based on the number of lockboxes used).

The data reveals the number of buyers out actively looking for a home, not just window shopping on the internet. NAR explains:

“Foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future.”

According to the latest Foot Traffic Report, buyer traffic is greater now than it was during this year’s spring market and there are more buyers out now than at any other time in the last five years (March of 2012).

The chart below shows that buyer activity over the last three months (blue bars) was greater than it was during this past spring market (green bars).

home buyer traffic seattle real estate metropolist

What about Seattle? 

Buyers, sellers and all the brokers who serve the Greater Seattle community have been working really hard to serve our fast-changing, competitive market for the entire year.

It’s still a bit of a surprise that October showed such a high traffic rate, especially over the Spring numbers.

Our biggest challenge has been a consistently low inventory of listings. Plenty of buyers. Very few homes (relatively) for them to choose from.

Traditional timing may not be an issue

If the coming year is one that will include a move, ask your trusted broker for a comparable report of your neighborhood and talk about the current local market trends, as well as anticipated timing for your listing.

If you are waiting for next spring to list your home because you think that’s when the buyers will be out in force, perhaps you should reconsider. Buyers are definitely out and looking now. Especially in the Greater Seattle area.