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Sep
16
2011

How much does weather affect the real estate market?

An unusually snowy winter, a prolonged rainy spring or a blistering hot summer – such as the heat wave in Ontario earlier this summer – can have a significant near-term impact on home sales, according to a recent national survey by Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

If a region is experiencing a heat wave or an unusually long winter, sellers may be more reluctant to list their homes and buyers may be less willing to get out into the market to look for a property.

“With all the different factors that affect the housing market, weather can often be over-looked. Severe weather, be it extreme heat, wet or cold, can prolong or delay seasonal sales cycles by weeks or even months,” says Phil Soper, chief executive officer of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. “The findings indicate that harsh weather may impact the number of homes bought and sold during a particular trading period. While this doesn’t speak directly to housing prices, a short-term drop in demand can impact local home values for a period of time. There is no evidence, however, that weather events change home prices over the longer term.”

If you want to sell your home during seasons when the climate is unpredictable, there are strategies to beat the weather. When listing a home in the hot summer months, invest in air conditioning or other solutions to cool off a home during open houses. Watering your lawn and gardens will maintain that all-important curb appeal – after all, first impressions are critical.
In the depth of winter, heating your home to a cozy temperature is most important, as is ensuring your property is accessible with roadways cleared of snow. If potential buyers can’t navigate the driveway or paths, their mood is predetermined even before they enter your home.

“People love to talk about the weather and the real estate market. While it is interesting that the former can impact the later, variables such as interest rates and employment levels are more important in determining the trajectory of our housing industry,” Soper concludes.

As we enjoy nice weather going into fall, low interest rates and a quiet consumer confidence, now is a good time to consider selling. When choosing a real estate agent, choose a broker who is knowledgeable about the area, has an innovative marketing program and has a proven track record for getting results. When deciding who to list with, visiting a broker’s website and checking the testimonials from other clients will provide a good starting point.