Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

EHS in 2016 by the Numbers – Part 2 – Least Common 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 slow down during the holidays and the earlier part of the week. Here is the data to back up your intuition:

  • The sales data for December 2016 is still preliminary, but we can get a good sense of the year by looking at the data we currently have for the past 12 months[1]. In our first post, we looked at top closing days of 2016.
  • In this list, we see the slowest closing days of 2016. The resulting list depends very much on how you define the eligible days.
  • Very few closings happen on weekends, federal holidays, and the Friday after Thanksgiving. Excluding these days, we find that the slowest closing day was Wednesday, February 3. Last year’s slowest day—January 13—again made the list, but was number four instead of number one this year. January 2 is often on the list, but because it fell on a weekend, it was excluded this year.
  • In 2016, Wednesday, February 3 was slower than both Columbus Day (Monday, October 10) and Memorial Day (Monday, May 30), but these holidays had fewer sales than all other dates on the list.
  • One holiday that REALTORS® may not have taken off was Veteran’s Day. Perhaps because it fell on a Friday (November 11, 2016), Veteran’s Day had more home closings than all of the bottom 25 dates listed below. All other weekend days and holidays were slower than the slow business days listed below.
  • Because this ranking was compiled with data that was not seasonally adjusted, we see that winter days figure prominently in the list of slowest days for home closings.
  • Those who have been in business a few years can probably expect these seasonal fluctuations, but for those who are new to real estate, take note and plan your vacations accordingly.
slowest closing dates
closings share by day of week

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

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