It would make sense that home searches surge according to the weather but conventional wisdom is not always right- or at least not so black and white. According to Trulia’s recent data, as the temperature dips and prospective buyers in the nation’s coldest areas hunker down for the winter, a spike in searches where the weather is warmer and sunny can be expected. The report indicated that while most of us assume that retirees make up the bulk of seasonal searches, there are younger home searchers who may be attracted just as much by hot job markets as they are by warmer weather are looking to leave colder climates too.
The data shows us that in reality, seasons don’t seem to have a large impact on our cold-to-hot search behaviors. In general, metros with the coldest winters do see bigger seasonal bumps—the deeper the freeze, the larger the bump in seasonal cold-hot searches. The percentage-point gap between August and December cold-hot searches is almost four times wider in places, where the average December temperature is 5 degrees Fahrenheit or below than it is among metros where the average temperature is “only” between 23 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the report, among cold-to-warm searches, 62.6 percent end up in a metro with an older median age than the source metro. At the same time, 71.2 percent of all cold-to-warm search activity ends up in a metro with higher employment growth. It also found that there is some overlap between the two destinations, potentially the best of both worlds for both groups of potential warm-climate seekers. These metros are “hot” with both an older population and stronger employment growth pulling in 45.6 percent of all search activity.
For example, from August 2018 to December 2018, Green Bay, Wisconsin had the majority of all non-local search activity going specifically to warm metros in the south increasing from 14.4 percent to 18.3 percent. Of those searches directed at warmer areas, the jump in interest in Tampa, Fla. was particularly strong, going from 14 percent of warmer searches to 25.1 percent.
Read the full report here.