Friday, February 7, 2014

How did the January Deep Freeze Impact the Real Estate Market?

If you're a member of any social media site, such as facebook, twitter, instagram or others, you will know that post after post as been about the "polar vortex" that has hit not only Norfolk County but all of Ontario and even into the deep south!

Dusting of snow & layer of ice causing chaos in Louisiana

In January many were commenting on the amount of snow and praying to the snow gods for it to stop.  In places like Atlanta, Georgia and New Orleans, Louisiana, a dusting of snow and a flash freeze caused everything to close and come to a stop.  Roads closed, bridges closed, businesses closed, freeways jammed.  Thankfully in Canada we are prepared for these temperatures and snowfalls and our roads crews have certainly been busy.

So how did this Arctic weather affect the local real estate market?  During January, 2014, thirty-five (35) sales were reported on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) compared to forty-four (44) sales the year prior.  The persistent sub zero temperatures of -20°C (and worse), no doubt kept prospective home buyers nestled indoors.  In addition to the deadly temperatures, there was plenty of snow, including an unexpected dumping on January 25 (just in time for our return from vacation).

We live in Canada, should these frigid temperatures and snow fall amounts be a surprise to us?  Well, I guess we have been spoiled for the past 4 years and it appears that is long enough for many of us to forget what a real winter is 2009.

January of 2009 was actual worse in both temperature and snow fall amounts.  According to Environment Canada, and as reported in the Simcoe Reformer, the average daily temperature during January, 2014 was -9°C.  That is substantially below the historical average of -5.7°C, it's not as bad as the January, 2009 daily average of -9.4°C.  The 2014 January low reached -24.2°C (burrrrrr).  But wait, January 2009 beat that with the a low of -24.9°C.

In terms of snowfall, this year we received 68.2 cms of snow, nearly double the average of 35.5 cms.  Seems like a lot but it really doesn't compare to the 82.9 cms we received in 2009.

How did the winter solstice of 2009 affect the real estate market then?  Only twenty-one (21) sales were reported on the local MLS® indicating how much the real estate market is affected by weather.

While there may be fewer buyers, there are benefits to selling in the winter.

There are usually fewer properties on the market at this time of year.  Many people will wait to list their properties in the spring.  Use this to your advantage;  fewer properties for sale means that your property will stand out. 

Furthermore, buyers who are in the market now want to close quickly.  These are the folks who want to buy and want to buy now.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is forecasting national activity to climb by 3.7% in 2014.  Although the national market can give you an idea of the overall state of housing, only the local market directly impacts you and your property.

All real estate is local, often times even unique to a particular street or neighbourhood, therefore if you're thinking of making a move this and want the scoop on the local real estate market, contact us today!

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