Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Part 1: EHS in 2014 by the Numbers – Popular Closing Dates

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

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 2014 holds for 2015.  The last sales data for December 2014 is just now being collected, but 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 2014 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 are expected to account for roughly a quarter of all home sale closings for the year.
  • The top 7 closing days were the last business days of June, May, August, April, July, September, and February.  The next 18 most popular days were all Fridays except for three dates, all of which were at or near the end of the month: Monday, March 31, Thursday, October 30, and Wednesday, July 30.
  • 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 unadjusted monthly EHS data which shows that June and July were the top months for home sales in 2014, followed by August and May[2].  In fact, June and July alone are likely to account for more than 20% of sales for 2014[3].
  • 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.
  • By this metric, the second half of 2014 is on track to be stronger than the first half of the year[4].  The peak month of 2014 sales, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, was October when sales reached the 5.25 million level[5].  We expect the strength in the second half of 2014 to carry through into 2015.
  • What was your busiest day in 2014?

dates
NAR Total
NAR Total 2

 This is part 1 of a week-long series on EHS. Check back tomorrow at 12 p.m. ET for the next post in the series.


[1] This analysis considers data from December 1, 2013 to November 30, 2014.

[2] December 2014 data is not yet complete, so a projection is made.

[3] ibid.

[4] Even a surprisingly low December would be unlikely to pull down the better performance of the second half of 2014.

[5] Revisions to seasonal adjustment factors that will be made in February 2015 when 2014 data is complete and finalized are likely to shift the precise magnitude of this figure but unlikely to change the fact that October 2014 was the peak month for seasonally adjusted home sales.

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