Skip to main content

Winter is Hottest Time For Second-Home Market

Published on January 21, 2019

Most serious research starts during the holidays; December 26 is “Black Friday” for master-planned communities

Warm-weather master-planned communities and other vacation home sellers are making a big mistake: By concentrating their marketing efforts in the spring, they’re missing the mark with interested buyers. According to Private Communities Registry (PCR)—a comprehensive online resource for real estate shoppers interested in amenity-rich, master-planned lifestyle communities—buyers do their most serious research in the winter.

Organic traffic to PCR’s website jumped 45% between December 2017 and January 2018, according to latest information available. Inquiries to PCR increased 42% in the same period, with most of the new traffic coming from states in the chilly Northeast.

“December 26 is our ‘official’ start of the season of matching consumers with their ideal lifestyle community,” says Ben Keal, PCR’s Director of Sales & Operations. “Marketers who focus on the spring buying season could be too late. Lifestyle buyers have a longer sales cycle, but we see an influx of traffic and leads right after the holidays, which lasts through the cold months.”

Other housing market research supports PCR’s findings. According to a study, while December 24 (Christmas Eve) is traditionally one of the slowest days for real estate searches, December 28 is one of the busiest. Why the sudden shift? Because the holiday season from Halloween to New Year’s is almost over, people are beginning to feel winter’s effects, and the Christmas break offers time to start searching.

“The spike in information requests we receive during the winter months indicates that buyers are seriously searching this time of year,” says Keal. “Harsh weather keeps many buyers stuck at home during the winter, so it’s the perfect time to research communities online and make plans to visit them.”

For potential buyers, the end of the year is their chance to make a “relocation resolution,” hoping to have spent their last chilly Christmas and nippy New Year’s. They want to be warm when the calendar flips over again.

“Spring is an important time for lifestyle communities because, once the weather warms up and the holidays are over, buyers are ready to go out and look at properties,” Keal reports. “But many of those decisions about where to look are made during winter when buyers do their wishing, searching, and planning. We tell our communities to be sure they’re putting their best feet forward starting around the holidays, while we tell potential buyers to use the winter season to do their homework so they’re prepared and ready to buy.”

For information about PCR, access


About Private Communities Registry 
Founded in 1996, Private Communities Registry, Inc. (PCR) is a comprehensive research and information site for real estate shoppers interested in amenity-rich, master-planned lifestyle communities.

PCR provides buyers with information necessary to understand their home-purchasing options, from prices to amenities. Selections range from equestrian to golf, boating to land conservation, with property listings (homes, condominiums, lots) starting at less than $100,000 and going to more than $10 million. PCR makes its findings conveniently available on web, mobile, and tablet platforms.

Located in Vero Beach, Florida, representatives may be reached at (772) 234-0434, toll free at (800) 875-3072, or at

Ready To Get Started?

Let us help you achieve your marketing goals.

Contact Us