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Talkin’ ‘Bout The Weather, Does It Really Matter?

A Record-Setting Snow Buries Northeast [ABC News] [1] brings to mind a question about the weather’s impact on the real estate market.

Is the weather’s affect on real estate sales activity a zero-sum [2]? Or are there lasting effects over a given year?

My inclination is to say that weather causes a greater impact on real estate locations that are seasonal than those that are year-round.

For example, a summer rental market generally sees lease-ups occur during the late winter and early spring. If the inclement weather is particularly bad during that period, the renters may pass on viewing property and choose not to rent that season.

In a year-round market, I suspect its a zero-sum game. While heavy winter snowstorms keep buyers from viewing properties until the weather clears, I suspect that there is no loss in sales activity for the year as a result. Any fluctuation is more likely attributable to changes in economic factors. However, I often see quotes attributing a slow down or an acceleration of activity [3] attributed to the weather when I think its impact is nominal and only affects the pattern rather than the result.