Thinking of buying a car or house soon? Knowing that the weather can subtly influence your purchase decision might keep you from making a choice you might later regret.
Researchers from several universities have found some interesting connections between weather conditions and the choices consumers make. They looked at 40 million new and used car sales, plus more than four million home sales and found-controlling for seasonal sales patterns that:
Photo by Damian Morys
- If the weather is warmer and skies clearer than average, convertible cars get a sales bump of 8.5 per cent
- Home go for $US1600 more if there's a swimming pool -- if the house is sold in the summer
- Warmer and clearer weather reduces the number of black vehicles sold.
Most of these make sense -- when it's hotter out, convertible cars will be more attractive than if it's raining or freezing out.
In the research paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, professors Meghan R Busse, Devin G. Pope, Jaren C Pope, and Jorge Silva-Risso explain that this kind of impulse buying is due to our "projection bias" -- the tendency we have to over-predict the degree that our future tastes will resemble current tastes.
An example of projection bias is when we buy more groceries when shopping on an empty stomach: We feel hungry now and then think our future selves will also need more food.
With cars and homes, though, because these are major purchases and the weather won't always be sunny and warm, it's wise when you're shopping around to ask yourself if you'd really like or need these things just as much if the current weather wasn't influencing you.
Weather Matters When Buying a Home or Car [University of California, Riverside]