Mighty mountains depict local market’s peaks and valleys – Orange County Register

My loosely scientific and somewhat subjective interpretation of the market shows the super-active spring housing market begins right after the Super Bowl and peaks at Memorial Day.

That’s the period characterized by the insurgence of the largest number of home buyers going after the lowest number of homes for sale.

Then comes the summer market, which starts right after Memorial Day and lasts roughly until Labor Day. After that, it’s all downhill through Christmas and New Year’s.

If you take all the data showing for-sale home listings and housing demand of said homes, compile them into charts, the resulting images closely resemble the outlines of two familiar peaks: Saddleback Mountain and Mount Everest (in reverse).

Using numbers from a noted data-tracker, my friend and O.C. real estate economist Steven Thomas, here’s the scoop.

Supply/inventory of homes for sale: The annual ebb and flow of Orange County homes listed for sale follows the outline of the Saddleback Mountains.

The number of homes to hit the market traditionally rises very gradually right after New Year’s Eve, reaching a peak just before Labor Day, then steadily declines. There’s a slight uptick to complete the saddle in the middle of the picture, then a slow descent all the way to the end of the mountain range by the end of the year. And even though our inventory of homes for sale is lower this year than any year back to 2013, each year’s outline follows the same general shape of peaks and valleys.

Demand for homes:  This is the number of homes placed into escrow.

The annual rise and fall of demand, according to the graph from Thomas’ Reports on Housing, imitates the iconic outline of Mount Everest, with the image reversed so that the steepest ascent to the peak is on the left instead of the right side of the image.

Demand for homes rises rapidly from the beginning of the year to about Memorial Day, driven by the frenzy of buyers who’ve paid for all of last year’s…

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