Can home price trends predict a Super Bowl winner?
It’s that time again--the start of a new year, snow storms, colder temperatures and the NFL playoffs. This year’s playoff teams are from a very diverse group of housing markets from all across the country.
There are an untold number of oddsmakers and prognosticators that purport to be able to pick the ultimate winner of the NFL's highest prize. But is there any specific relationship between home prices, mortgage rates and success in the NFL? Of course not. However, it's fun to forecast the winner of Super Bowl LII based off certain housing market characteristics.
1/8/18 Update: Wow. After Wildcard weekend, we sure wish we had picked the low-high, low-high version of each pairing, as the winner in all four contests had lower annual home price increases than did their opponent. On to the next round!
1/15/18 Update: Even though all the opponents from the first round weren't as expected, outcomes for the second round were pretty close to our expectations, where 75 percent of our home-price picks from the Divisional round are moving on to the AFC and NFC Championship games. One got in with a last second miracle!
New England Patriots (AFC 1 Seed)
1/15/18 update: On to the Championship round. We thought that the Pats would be moving on, but that the opponent they faced to do so would be different. Like their local housing market, New England continued to efficiently move forward with a solid performance all around, and a 6.6% annual price gain bested the 1.9% of the Nashville metro. New England's next opponent has also seen strong gains and could be an unpredictable challenger.
Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC 2 seed)
1/15/18 update: Eliminated. Despite a heroic effort by Ben Roethlisberger (469 yds, 5 TDs) the Steelers came up short in a high-scoring shootout. We thought that Pittsburgh's steady price gains would overcome the higher-flying Jacksonville metro, but the Jags are nearing a full recovery from a period of malaise, just the same as its home real estate market, and that proved too much for the Steelers and a market that really didn't boom or bust over the last decade.
Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC 3 seed)
1/8/18 update: On to the Divisional round. Eleven years ago, home prices here were at peak and the Jags made the playoffs. Both the housing market and the team saw difficult times since then, but a steady recovery in home prices in recent years and improving fortunes on the field sees the Jacksonville market and the Jaguars approaching peak levels of success.
1/15/18 update: On to the Championship round. A usually defensive-minded Jaguars team gave up 42 points, had an unexpected offense breakout, putting up 45 points on the day. Jacksonville had Pittsburgh's number twice this year, but the numbers here saw Jacksonville's 5.9% price gain best Pittsburgh's 4.3% rise. The Jags will probably need a return to form to continue toward the Super Bowl.
Kansas City Chiefs (AFC 4 seed)
1/8/18 update: Eliminated. An unsustainably hot start for the Chiefs gave way to a cold streak which ended their season. It's a good thing for homeowners in the Kansas City metro area that home prices aren't following suit, where prices remain hot and are almost 21% above last decade's "boom time" peaks.
Tennessee Titans (AFC 5 seed)
1/8/18 update: On to the Divisional round. Home prices in the Nashville market has been on a hot streak for a number of years, powering though the troubles of the last decade. The Titan's running game did much the same, pushing forward steadily in an adverse climate to continue to advance.
1/15/18 update: Eliminated. The Titans did what they could, but the Patriots just continued to do what they do. Although we thought that a lower-appreciating market would move on in this round, the 1.9% year-over-year growth rate was the least of the AFC teams and couldn't overcome the relentless and solid pace of the Boston metro area.
Buffalo Bills (AFC 6 seed)
1/8/18 update: Eliminated. Buffalo's first foray into the playoffs since before Y2K didn't go well. Normally a market where home prices grind it out (not having boomed or busted in the last decade), it may be that success (for home prices or on the gridiron) is something that will take some getting used to.
Philadelphia Eagles (NFC 1 seed)
1/15/18 update: On to the Championship round. In the battle of the birds, the Eagles overcame the Falcons despite having the weakest year-over-year growth in home prices of the remaining markets. We thought a lower market would beat a higher one in this round and expected to see the Eagles moving on.
Minnesota Vikings (NFC 2 seed)
1/15/18 update: On to the Championship round. Case Keenum and the Vikings continue an improbable run to the title. Solid play and solid home price gains don't necessarily go hand in hand, but a 7.3% year-over-year rise and perhaps more than a little bit of luck to best the Saints were enough to see them moving on.
Los Angeles Rams (NFC 3 seed)
1/8/18 update: Eliminated. Perhaps in a case of too much success, too quickly, the upstart Rams got worn down by a steady, experienced Atlanta team. Home prices in the Los Angeles market surged again this year with a leap large enough to push the market back to a "fully recovered" level, but perhaps a more sustainable trend of greater success will come next year.
New Orleans Saints (NFC 4 seed)
1/8/18 update: On to the Divisional round. Home prices in the the Big Easy metro area may not currently be as high-flying as the Saints passing game, but both were certainly strong enough to see New Orleans on fine footing as it moves deeper into the playoffs.
1/15/18 update: Eliminated. An improbable ending to a remarkable game saw the Minnesota Vikings pull off a last-play, last-second win against the Saints. New Orleans' annual gain of 6.8% was overcome by Minneapolis' 7.3% lift for the year; overall, there was not much of a difference between the two, but just enough, even as one single play can change the outcome of game.
Carolina Panthers (NFC 5 seed)
1/8/18 update: Eliminated. Third time wasn't the charm for the Panthers, as the Saints beat them in all three matchups this year. Oh well. At least homeowners in the Charlotte metro are can gloat about winning the home price appreciation battle over the last year.
Atlanta Falcons (NFC 6 seed)
1/8/18 update: On to the Divisional round. Mimicking the Atlanta metro's steady and balanced improvement in home prices produced success for the Falcons, who bested a high-powered Rams team in a local housing market where both may have run a little too hot to produce sustainable success.
1/15/18 update: Eliminated. The Falcons failed to get the better of the Eagles, and are returning home to watch the remainder of the playoffs. Even though they didn't achieve the success they hoped for, the Falcons can at least boast that home values in their market are on a superior path.
NFL playoff brackets
Can these home price trends predict the next NFL champion?
Jan 04, 2018
Keith Gumbinger HSH.com