Over the years and numerous conversations with agents, there appears to be a ongoing belief that cold weather and/or precipitation greatly affects listing showings during the year. With most work ground to a halt during Chicago’s Snowpacalypse of 2011 (see also: #snomg #blizzaster), we thought it appropriate to take a look at this type of data and see if we could verify or disprove the longstanding thought process.
In order to attempt this study in a reasonable time frame, we acquired climate history for Chicago 2010 from Weather Underground and matched it to our records for listing showings in the area. What we found was that while cancellations increase on unexpected days of cold or rain, overall the showing effect is minimal.
For instance, taking a look at the average number of showings in cold weather conditions, we can see that Chicago agents are fairly resilient when it comes to temperatures at or just below freezing. While the showing trends downward slightly as temperature decreases, the data does not indicate a significant decrease in showings or productivity. It is unlikely that most agents feel a great decrease in personal listings at the 15% or even 25% range.
On the other hand, extreme weather conditions certainly do effect showing rates. By taking the aggregate of this past week, during which Chicagoland accumulated nearly 23 inches of snow, showing rates plummeted. Traffic was off 66% from the previous Tues+Wed+Thurs averages, and was the slowest midweek showing numbers thus far in 2011.
Despite that glum fact, agents have had a great start to 2011, since neither the Chicago Snowpacalypse nor the Bears’ playoff appearances kept this January from beating out 2010 numbers. On the contrary, 2011 showings seem to be back in line with the 4 year average, as the chart below shows.
This shows that agents have toughened up their efforts to sell properties, and that weather plays less of a role than previously believed. Perhaps some have adapted the old adage of the mailman, and through rain, sleet, or snow, top performing agents are determined to show their properties…