NEW YORK – Jan. 29, 2014 – The polar vortex, bringing record-breaking low temperatures to large swaths of the country, is prompting more house hunters to search for homes in warm-weather climates, according to a Trulia study based on home searches on the real estate site from Dec. 1 to Jan. 21.
With every 10-degree drop below 41 degrees Fahrenheit, web home searches in metros with warmer climates rose 4.4 percent, and searches for homes in warm vacation spots surged 5.5 percent. Searches in the West and South saw the highest increase.
Data from realtor.com supports Trulia’s findings. While cities like Chicago and Detroit – both facing polar grips this winter – remained in realtor.com’s top 10 cities for home searches in December, their month-over-month searches declined 4.95 percent and 4.04 percent, respectively. Cities with warmer climates, such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, and Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, rounded out the top 10 list. Other cities in Texas, Florida and California saw increases of up to 1 percent in home searches in December.
The following metros from the Trulia study topped the list for home searches in that timeframe:
• Miami: home searches rose 7.3% for every 10-degree drop in temperatures
• Phoenix: +6.9%
• Jacksonville, Fla.: +6.4%
• Orange County, Calif.: + 6.4%
• Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.: +6.3%
• Sacramento, Calif.: +6.2%
• New Orleans: +6.2%
Vacation areas – where vacation homes account for 25 percent of the housing stock – got the biggest boost in traffic as temperatures plunged. The vacation areas with the biggest increases in home-search traffic were along Florida’s coast, the study found.
Source: “Cold Spell Heats Up House Searches in Warm-Weather Markets,” The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 27, 2014)
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