Winter to blame for January’s slow housing market

This Sept. 13, 2011, photo shows a house for rent and for sale sign in front of a home in Portland, Ore. The number of Americans who bought previously occupied homes rose in August. But sales were driven by an increase in foreclosures, evidence the housing market remains weak. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
This Sept. 13, 2011, photo shows a house for rent and for sale sign in front of a home in Portland, Ore. The number of Americans who bought previously occupied homes rose in August. But sales were driven by an increase in foreclosures, evidence the housing market remains weak. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

TIPPECANOE, CO., Ind. (WLFI) – When it comes to the housing marking in Tippecanoe County, local broker and real estate agency owner Kathy Russell said spring is usually the start of an increase in the sale of homes.

“I always say that the first day of spring in Lafayette, Indiana is January second,” said Russell.

However this January’s extreme weather froze the local housing market. According to the Indiana Association of Realtors, January saw an 8.8 percent drop in home sales , and a 14.4 percent decrease in the number of homes listed in Tippecanoe County.

Russell said snow and cold temperatures kept people from listing and looking, our sister station WLFI reports.

“Their houses hadn’t sold and so they were waiting and waiting and the snow was a factor for the realtors. I think people just stayed away and didn’t look on those days,” said Russell.

While some stayed away, Russell said the weather forced some potential buyers to cancel at the last minute.

“I think it discouraged sellers a lot, because you are getting everything all fixed up and then somebody calls and says we’re not coming. It’s really hard,” said Russell.

Although January was a hard month to sell a home in Tippecanoe County, March is making up for it.

“It was slow, but it’s booming now. We’re just selling the heck out of stuff, and I think most realtors are even though it was slow in January,” said Russell.

Russell says despite the slow start, overall home sales won’t be impacted in 2014.

“In the end we’ll have the same sales as last year or more,” said Russell.

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