Is a Long Winter Bad for Real Estate?

 If you live anywhere besides Southern California or Key West, it seems you’ve experienced some kind of winter weather so far in 2018. A little bit of snow is typical, or, if you live in upstate New York or Colorado, a lot of snow. Significant precipitation well into April is pretty uncommon, though, and it could be putting a damper on the spring real estate market in your area.

Bad weather can undoubtedly make it more difficult to sell a home—who wants to trek out for a showing in a blizzard? Not to mention what the appearance of 3-foot snow piles do for curb appeal.


The market as a whole has been plagued in recent years by a lack of homes for sale paired with an increase in active buyers—making the margin of viable options for buyers very slim. Combine that with an active winter season, and it’s a recipe for a slower than average start to real estate’s busiest time of year.

This is not to say that the spring market will be a bust, though. According to NAR, the number of homes for sale is actually increasing, though at a slow quip, and the number of interested buyers is hitting levels not seen in more than a decade.

When spring weather finally does come into play and homeowners are ready to put their homes on the market, you can fully expect a frenzy of active buyers ready to take the plunge. In 2017, the number of new home sales rose from about 600,000 in January to nearly 650,000 just a month later, and you can expect a similar jump in 2018.

Ultimately, like most other years, it is hard to predict exactly when the spring market will kick off. The weather may play a role, but it is not the determining factor in whether or not the market will be successful for agents, buyers, and sellers.

If agents are willing to place their open house signs in in the snow, and buyers are willing to brave the cold for showings, there is no doubt the spring market will be heating up before you know it, even if it took a little longer than usual to get there.