Winter is typically a slow time for home sales, when sellers might wonder if they have any hope of finding a buyer. But will that be the case this winter?
“Normally this is a boring question, but this year it’s anything but,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist of Realtor.com®. Although the housing market tends to freeze up once snow falls, Hale predicts that this post-pandemic winter season will be different: “Sellers can expect to see plenty of buyers.”
“Compared to other past winter seasons, this winter season’s sales activity will be stronger,” agrees Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors®. “This winter, there will be more sales compared to pre-pandemic winters going back all the way to 2006.”
This optimism stems back to (you guessed it) the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, which created a pent-up demand for homes throughout much of 2020 that completely swamped the usual spring rush, winter lull rhythm of the real estate cycle.
And that overwhelming demand for housing is still going strong today.
“We had unusual seasonality in 2020 due to the pandemic shifting timing around for many buyers and sellers,” explains Hale. “While 2021 had much more normal seasonality—homes sold fastest in summer and slower in fall and winter—this year has been a standout for its own reasons.”