Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

EHS in 2016 by the Numbers – Part 1 – Popular Closing Dates

This blog post was written by Managing Director of Housing Research, Danielle Hale, and Data Analyst, Hua Zhong.

You probably know that home closings predominate on Fridays and the end of the month. Here is the data to back up your intuition:

  • As we start the New Year, this is a good time to take a look and recap the year behind us to see what insights 2016 holds for 2017. The last sales data for December 2016 is in, and we can get a good sense of the year by looking at the data we currently have[1].
  • A list of top closing days of 2016 shows that the last business day of a month and Fridays are the most popular days to complete a home sale transaction. In fact, these days are so popular that the top 25 closing days accounted for roughly a quarter of all home sale closings for the year.
  • The top 6 closing days were the last business days of April, May, June, July, August, and September. The number one closing day, which was also on top in each of the last two years we did this analysis, was June 30. In 2016, it fell on a Thursday. The next 19 most popular days were all Fridays except for three dates, all of which were at the end of the month: Wednesday, November 30; Monday, October 31; and Monday, February 29.
  • Because this ranking was compiled with data that was not seasonally adjusted, we see that spring and summer days figure prominently in the top of the list, but all seasons are represented.
  • This day by day data confirms the preliminary unadjusted monthly EHS data which shows that June and July were the top months for home sales in 2016, followed by August and May. In fact, June and July alone account for more than 20% of sales for 2016.
  • It is expected that spring and summer months will be strong from a home sales perspective. This is why NAR Research reports seasonally adjusted home sales data each month, so we can see how sales are performing relative to what we might typically expect given the season.
  • Using the seasonally adjusted data, the second half of 2016 was stronger than the first half of the year. We expect the strength in the second half of 2016 will carry through into 2017, as strong buyer demand offsets the headwind of higher mortgage rates in most areas.
  • What was your busiest day in 2016?

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[1] This analysis considers data from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

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