Don't blame polar vortex for possible real estate slowdown

For all the hullabaloo over the “polar vortex,” January’s unusually cold weather probably had only a marginal effect on the housing market, according to Trulia.

January’s weather should only have pushed down housing starts and permits, as well as existing, pending and new-home sales, by no more than 2 percent, the listing portal found in an analysis.

To gauge how January’s weather impacted construction and sales, Trulia calculated the historical relationship between abnormal weather and month-over-month changes in the five aforementioned housing indicators. Then it looked at January’s weather through the lens of that relationship to predict its effect on housing.

Trulia offered three reasons for the minimal impact projected by its analysis:

1. January wasn’t as cold as some might believe. (This January wasn’t the coldest in 10 years for any of the country’s four regions.)

2. January was relatively dry, which tends to help the housing market.

3. The polar vortex impacted regions with less housing activity the most.

Source: Trulia