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Bad market? Blame the weather!

To say that the decline in Cottages sales experienced in 2007 was a result of the global economic slowdown would be misleading.  The fact is that the sales were down uniformly throughout the year, and didn’t drop suddenly when the economic crises came to the forefront in September.

The Market for waterfront cottages is affected by a plethora of other variables, some which on the surface may seem trivial.  For example, Weather plays a huge influence on the market, similar to the way air conditions sell better when the summers are hot and muggy.

2008 was one of the wettest years on record.  Toronto received record snowfalls and the wintery weather continued through until April in our part of the province.  When spring finally did come, it came grudgingly and late, giving us cool and wet weather right through the summer until September, which ended up being the best (weather) month of the entire year.  October was also pleasant, but by mid-November, the weather turned positively wintery, to a point where we just had snowiest December on record.

Where the heck is global warming when you need it?

Over my 24 years of selling real estate, I can tell you without hesitation, that the market does better when the weather is fair, and for a variety of reasons.  People are generally happier and less gloomy when it isn’t raining (or snowing) day after day.  Cottages are still primarily used more in the summer than any other time of the year, and when summers are hot and muggy, people tend to be more receptive to buying something out of town to get away from the sticky city weather.

As a Realtor, it is very, very difficult to even show cottages in less than “pleasant” conditions.  I spent many, many weekends last year with prospective buyers looking at cottages, dodging in and out of my truck between downpours and having a grip our umbrellas tightly, as so they wind didn’t rip them out of our white-knuckled grip.

Just like air conditioning contractors found themselves as busy as the Maytag repairman from television (Gordon Jump from WKRP fame, for you trivia bluffs), perhaps we can assign as much of the blame to good old Mother Nature.  The American subprime market fallout and subsequent economic crisis may influence the market going forward, but can’t be blamed for the entire 37 percent drop we experience last year.

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Bad market? Blame the weather!


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