Super Bowl Weekend, the Groundhog Day of Real Estate…
I feel the need to pay homage to the little guy and recap just what Groundhog Day is and what it means for our seasonal shift ahead. Recently we may compare it to the monotonous days of COVID quarantine. Most however know it as the day a man in a top hat pulls a poor unsuspecting marmot out of the ground after having the pressure of predicting when winter will end, and spring begin… a task that trained forecasters can’t master. Others might have visions of Bill Murray annihilating his alarm clock at 6am sharp to the voices of Sonny and Cher singing “I’ve Got You Babe.”
Today, February 2nd, marks the 135th Groundhog Day. The first Groundhog Day took place February 2nd, 1887 in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania by way of Germany. Like so many things in our world, the event is going to be virtual this year. Even poor Punxsutawney Phil has to Zoom. A gathering that typically brings tens of thousands to the small town of Punxsutawney (population roughly 5700), specifically Gobbler’s Knob, the site of the great event.
So, as legend has it, if Punxsutawney Phil does, in fact, see his shadow, his fear will send him running back into his burrow with six more weeks of winter to come. If he pops out and no shadow, well an earlier arrival of spring is on its way. Granted, it appears Phil has about a 50% track record on his prediction; however, one could say many weathermen don’t do much better.
Now Groundhog Day shares a big week with football’s main event, the Super Bowl. Some real estate industry experts even dub Super Bowl weekend the Groundhog Day of real estate. But instead of shadows, the activity levels seen at this pivotal point between winter and the approaching spring that can act as an indicator of just how the housing market will perform in the year ahead.
This year has certainly been different, in immeasurable ways, real estate included. Typically, spring is the time the market truly starts to heat up with summer being the main event, tapering into fall and winter laying largely dormant. The 2020 differences reared their heads, lacking a typical slowdown from summer to fall and fall into winter. These differences leave us with the question, will February bring the normal “spring” heat? Will the normal increase of sellers, see their shadows? Many buyers and sellers wait on the sidelines for springtime to appear. The historically low interest rates have been the major motivator, keeping the market moving despite inventory also being historically low.
While interest rates are estimated to hover right around 3% for the remainder of 2021, house values are not expected to stay where they are. Over the course of 2020 we saw housing prices in the greater Gig Harbor area rise 18%, along with the patience levels of many homeschooling parents…am I right! The projections for the coming year are not as high, however it is a forecasted 12% increase, and that has a substantial impact on one’s buying power. While it is paramount to wait until the time is right for you and your family, now is the perfect time to evaluate upcoming real estate decisions and weigh pros and cons of acting sooner than later, 2021 is a year where one does not need to see a shadow to know if the time to list or buy is approaching with the spring season. It has been and will continue to be a great time to take that next step in real estate…and whether you watched for that furry little guy to pop out of the ground and predict what is to come, or you don’t put any stock in those old traditions, let’s think of it this way – hasn’t this time taught us to find joy in the little things…like weather predicting marmots and men in top hats.
This just in ... at 7:25am (eastern) 'ol Punxsutawney Phil predicted 6 more weeks of winter, of course he did...well played 2021, well played!
Happy Groundhog Day!