[Chip Wagner is third generation appraiser from Chicagoland who is a public figure and well respected within the appraisal industry. Along with his business partner, Bob Headrick, they run the firm [Headrick-Wagner Appraisal Group](http://www.headrick-wagner.com/), which has been providing appraisal, consulting and research services throughout the Chicagoland market for more than 35 years. I met both Chip and Bob through [RAC (Relocation Appraisers & Consultants)](http://www.rac.net). When I met Chip in the late 1990’s we both spoke together at a national conference about our appraisal web sites, among the first in the country. I have learned a lot from Chip and am thrilled to use his firm’s market stats on my Matrix blog and post his Chip Shots column on Soapbox. Like me, he has an enthusiasm for market analysis.

In his inaugural Soapbox post for his Chip Shots column, named for his passion for golf, Chip tries to find some sort of real estate silver lining in da Bears‘ Superbowl loss.]
…Jonathan Miller

Does our market really pick up after Super Bowl Sunday?

For years, our Snow-Belt market has always been known to be cyclical through the seasons more so than the Sun-Belt regions in the country. It has often been said and repeated, the slowest time of the year for residential real estate activity is between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, and it begins picking up in the new year, and even greater after Super Bowl Sunday. This year, our Chicago Bears were in the Super Bowl so there were probably very few showings on Sunday, February 4, 2007 in the Chicago area.

It is known that our “Spring” market is when a majority of homes are purchased so they can close and move into the new home by Summer, and before children start school in the Fall.

Super Bowl Sunday is that magic day. The old saying it picks up is because the ladies can get their men off the couch on Saturdays and Sundays to look at homes now that college and professional football season is over (or it could be vice-versa).

So, what is really happening??? What do the statistics say? What is market activity increase in listings or increase in contract pendings or both? With the inventory supply build-up from 2006, we certainly hope the pendings will outpace the listings.

In the spirit of the show Myth-Busters let’s find out did the market pick up after Super Bowl Sunday? Fact or Fiction.

In the first 10 days after the Super Bowl the market did pick up. There were 964 new listings of detached homes in the entire region up about 2.25%. At the same time, there was a net increase of 887 properties to go under contract up almost 12%. DuPage County had the biggest net increase at 21.59%.

For the attached homes, there were 706 new listings to enter the marketplace, which is a 2.51% increase. And there were almost 867 properties went under contract up about 9.18%.

It is important to also point out that during the same 10-day period, we continued to see declines in closed sales volume, which is a result of our slow fourth quarter activity that are now closing. This has kept the inventory levels increasing upward slightly.

The positive news is the market has picked up after Super Bowl Sunday. So, we have proved that it is a “FACT” that the real estate market does pick up after Super Bowl Sunday. Just 10 days after, we saw an increase of contract pendings from 9% on attached housing and 12% on detached housing.