Groundhog Day and Predictions of Spring Real Estate Market

by Karen Briscoe
February 2, 2016

Groundhog Day is when Punxsutawney Phil predicts whether there will be early spring like weather or whether there will be another 6 weeks of winter weather.  The celebration occurs on February 2nd of each year.  Whether Phil sees his shadow or not often helps determine when the spring real estate market kicks off.  On February 2, 2016, Phil failed to see his shadow, which tradition proclaims there will be an early spring.

In those markets that experience winter months of snow and/or cold temperatures, people often exhibit cabin fever and are ready to get out and about and tour homes as soon as there is a sign of spring.  Realtors® predict an early spring real estate market by several indicators, the strongest of which is the attendance of prospective buyers at Sunday open houses.  Thus it is helpful to keep track of foot traffic of actual numbers of people that attend public open houses.  If it is trending up, then that is a good indicator.

There is often a significant increase in number of Sellers preparing their homes for the market as have been waiting on the sidelines for springtime to appear.  Thus another indicator to watch is the rate that homes come onto the active market.  If it is at a faster clip than demand is absorbing them, then that is a sign that supply is building up.

Sellers may want to consider the potential advantage of being early on the market.  In this way they may beat out other significant competition.

The Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group listed a home for sale in Arlington yesterday Monday, February 1st. This home ended up getting under contract before the close of business at an amazing price!

The message to Sellers: No need to sit out the market any longer, spring has clearly sprung in the Northern Virginia real estate market. Also work with a Realtor® that is experienced and knowledge on how to navigate the rapidly changing market conditions.

The message to Purchasers is:  The lack of homes to buy means that this is not a time to do it by yourself but rather it is all the more critical to be represented by an experienced, knowledgeable Realtor®.

Springtime always follows winter, thank goodness!  Whether the Groundhog predicts an early spring season or six more weeks of winter, either way the spring market will come.

Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy are active and experienced Realtors® in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC market place and would be delighted to assist with home selling and/or buying.  Please contact via the means most convenient for you:, 703-734-0192,

Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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