The slower months for real estate activity don't often generate many transactions, but affordability and pent-up demand may be responsible for improvements seen in Redfin's Real-Time Demand Pulse report for the first month of 2013.
According to the report, the amount of signing offers by prospective buyers increased 70.4 percent on a month-over-month basis. Activity also improved 58.5 percent when compared to offers recorded in January 2012. While small factors can prompt a monthly improvement, annual gains are more indicative of an overall recovery for the housing market.
Additionally, home tours jumped 57.9 percent in January. Major improvements are common between December and January, as those who avoided making the investment around the holidays begin their search for the right house. According to Redfin, the amount of customer requests for home tours was also up from the same month a year earlier, rising 52 percent in the new year.
As winter comes to a close, more current homeowners will likely post their homes for sale, which could positively influence tours and offers. A shrunken inventory common throughout the slower months is believed to cause many prospective buyers to postpone making the big investment.