Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

EHS in 2016 by the Numbers – Part 4 – Contracts

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

Home listings went under contract slightly more often on Mondays followed by Fridays and Tuesdays in 2016.  Here is the data:

  • 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 for the past 12 months.  In our first posts Part 1,  Part 2, and Part 3 we looked at closings and listings by day.  Here, we’ll take a look at contracts.
  • Below, we see the most popular under-contract days of 2016[1].  Similar to the pattern in home listings, we see a strong preponderance of spring dates and lack of weekends.
  • The biggest months for new contracts in 2016 were April, May, and March followed closely by June.  These months alone accounted for more than 4 in 10 new contracts in this analysis.  .
  • While not devoid of contract activity, the weekends are not common contract signing days.  Among weekdays, Mondays followed by Fridays, and Tuesdays are the most common days for new contracts to be signed, though Wednesdays and Thursdays are only slightly less common. In spite of that fact, not a single Thursday made the list of top 25 days for contracts in 2016.
  • While home closings exhibit a strong tendency to get done at the end of the month, contracts are, like listings, much steadier throughout the course of the month.  Listings show a slight tendency to be posted earlier rather than later in a month, and contracts have a very slight tendency to be signed more often in the early to middle portion of a month rather than at the end.
contracts dates

[1] This analysis includes listings that went under contract at any point in the period under observation, January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.  If two contracts existed in the observation period on the same listed property because, for example, one contract fell through and another contract was signed in a later month, both contract dates would be counted as “new contracts” in the analysis.  Thus, some contracts counted here may have fallen through.

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