Trulia (TRLA) finds that January and February search activity is 2% above the annual average, rising to 10-15% above the annual average in the peak months from March to July.
That’s the latest word from Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia.
Here’s a taste of what he found.
The housing season starts earliest on Florida’s west coast. In January and February, home search activity is 22% above the local annual average in Cape Coral-Fort Myers and 17% above in North Port-Sarasota- Bradenton. Three other Florida metros and the Arizona metros of Phoenix and Tucson are also in the top ten. All but Kansas City are in the Sunbelt.
In several smaller metros as well, January/February search activity is 15% or more above the local annual average. All are in Florida, including Punta Gorda, Naples, Ocala, and Port St. Lucie. In the Sunshine State, the early-bird special isn’t just for dinner – it’s also for housing.
The metros where winter home searches are slowest relative to the annual average are in upstate New York (Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester), New England (Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Hartford), and the cooler, wetter winter markets on the Pacific (Seattle, San Francisco). Honolulu and Houston are on the list of metros that wake up later, too. But the dips are just in the mid-to-low single digits. No markets are as far below the annual average for home search activity in January and February as the west coast of Florida is ahead.
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