What time of the year are there the most new listings and the most real estate sales? A review of the numbers in Greater Phoenix.

 When are Real Estate Agents the Busiest?


Fletcher R. Wilcox

Grand Canyon Title Agency

Real estate agents make their commissions as listing agents and as selling agents. So at what times of the year are agents the busiest listing seller’s homes and closing on sales with buyers? What times of the year are listings and sales the slowest? Does real estate activity really slow down in the hot summer months?

So, what I did was research the number of new listings and sales for existing single family homes in Maricopa County, Arizona.  I broke down the years 2014, 2015 and the first half of 2016 into quarters. The data is from the Arizona Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (ARMLS).

The Findings


New Listings: Which Quarter Had the Most and the Least?

In both 2014, 2015 and in the first half of 2016 we saw the same pattern for new listings. The first quarter, the winter quarter, had the most new listings. Then like a stair step, the number of new listings declines in each of the following quarters with the fourth quarter having considerable less new listings than the first quarter. Then as the chart below shows, listings shoot up again in the first quarter of the New Year.

More New Listings and Sales in First-Half of 2016 Than in Either 2014 or 2015

When comparing the number of new listings in the first two quarters of 2016 there were 2,792 more new listings than 2015 and 1,280 than 2014. This increase in inventory along with job growth and population growth and boomerang buyers has fueled home ownership. There were 1,268 more sales in the first two quarters of 2016 than 2015 and a whopping 4,243 more sales than 2014.




Sales: Which Quarter Had the Most and Least?

While the first quarter has the most new listings, the second quarter has the most sales. The chart below shows single family sales. In 2014, the quarter with the least number of sales was the first quarter. In 2015, it was a toss-up for the least number of sales between the first quarter and the fourth quarter. There were only thirty-six more closings in the fourth quarter over the first quarter. The second best quarter for sales has been the third quarter.

There are More Sales in the Hot Summer Months Than You Might Think

If we compare sales in the third quarter, the hot weather months of July, August and September, to the best quarter, the second quarter, we saw a decline in sales of 12% in both 2015 and 2014.

However, the third quarter has been the second best quarter for sales. In 2015, third quarter sales were 18% higher than in both the first and fourth quarters.



In recent history, the first and second quarters of the year had the most new listings followed by the second and third quarters as the most sales. While real estate sales slow-down in the hot weather third quarter compared to the spring second quarter, the third quarter has been the number two quarter for most sales. While sales in the first and fourth quarters are the slowest, there is still lots of sales activity. Data shows sales in the first and fourth quarters range between 12,000 and 14,000. Look for sales in the fourth quarter of  2016 to be over 14,000 sales.

Fletcher Wilcox 2016 picture

Fletcher R. Wilcox is V.P. of Business Development and a Real Estate Analyst at Grand Canyon Title Agency.

He is author of www.TheWilcoxReport.com. His market analysis on residential real estate in Greater Phoenix has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, MarketWatch, HousingWire.com, National Mortgage News, Arizona Republic and the Phoenix Business Journal. He has been a guest speaker on local radio and both local and national TV.

He teaches real estate agents strategies in marketing and instructs real estate renewal classes in residential contract writing and Arizona title procedures.  Fletcher started snowboarding in 2006. He is not very good.

Fletcher may be reached at FWilcox@GCTA.com  602.648.1230


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