Cold Weather Freezing Out Home Sales?

Could the unseasonably cold temperatures in the northeast be responsible for a decline in bidding competition in our area?  reports that in colder markets—Boston and Baltimore leading the pack—bidding wars fell dramatically, in some markets as much as one-third last month alone. Snowstorms, icy conditions and artic temperatures shut down open houses and may be responsible for keeping thousands of prospective buyers holed up in their current spots.

For the motivated buyer, this meant less competition for popular properties and, often, a faster turnaround from offer to close—sellers were, in many cases, more motivated than ever to finalize a sale in light of the seeming lack of opportunity elsewhere.

In most years, January sees sharp rebounds in the real estate market—in 2013, competition surged 8% on the heels of nearly 7% in 2012 and 8.3% in 2011. But the numbers are still pending—will this month’s polar vortex, frigid temperatures and frequent snowfall overpower this ongoing trend? Or will the beginning-of-year turnaround be able to overcome prospective buyers’ desire to hunker down until spring?

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