It is hard to look at the falling snow across much of the mid-Atlantic on Monday and not blame the weather for sluggish home sales this winter. For anyone east of Nevada, this has seemed like one of the coldest and snowiest winters in a very long time, and it is. While Americans hunker down in their homes, the prospect of house hunting is less enticing.
Home sales numbers so far back that up, but some claim the lackluster sales are not due to the weather but to the seasons, or specifically, seasonal adjustments that are out of whack.
The housing market has been abnormal in many respects over the past few years. Analysts at Goldman Sachs point to an elevated level of distressed sales, the first-time homebuyer tax credit in 2009 and 2010, and significant investor activity in 2012 and 2013.
“Now that the housing market is normalizing with fewer distressed sales and less investor activity, applying these unusual seasonal factors may distort housing indicators,” the analysts wrote in a report.