World Cup Cheers U.K.'s Housing Market
Could something similar happen in the U.S.?
According to Your Move, a major U.K. real estate agency, statistics suggest that housing transactions will jump 8 percent in the month following the matches. The company's forecast derives from data collected by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (think of the royal equivalent of the IRS), which show that six of the last seven World Cups were followed by a month of increased housing activity.
On average, tournament years produced 7 percent more housing transactions the following month than in the same period the previous year.
It's unlikely American homebuyers will respond in comparable numbes, since there are far fewer soccer fans in the U.S.
In 1994, even when England failed to qualify for the Cup, transactions rose by 5 percent. "When football fever grips the nation, many buyers are glued to their screens," explained David Newnes, Managing Director of LSL, the parent company of Your Move.
Historically, a flurry of buyers hit the streets in the month after the tournament, once the action has ended, Newnes said, but he doesn't expect the excitement to stall the market in the meantime, either.
"Consumer confidence has risen this year," he said, "and more buyers have been entering the market."
But before you judge our transatlantic kin and their nigh-obsessive fandom, know that British football has at least something in common with the beefier American sport of the same name.
A 2003 study showed that the presence of an NFL team in an urban area raises rents by 8 percent on average. It would seem the apple doesn't fall far from the colonial tree.