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As temps plummet, homebuyers search warmer climes

The record-breaking low temperatures that gripped huge sections of the country prompted more house hunters to search for homes in warm-weather climates, according to a Trulia study based on home searches on the real estate site from December 1 to January 21.

With every 10-degree drop below 41 degrees Fahrenheit, online home searches in metros with warmer climates rose 4.4 percent, and searches for homes in warm vacation spots surged 5.5 percent. The highest increases in searches were in the South and West.

Vacation areas - where vacation homes account for 25 percent of the housing stock - got the biggest boost in traffic as temperatures plunged. The vacation areas with the biggest increases in home-search traffic were along Florida's coast, the study found.

Data from realtor.com supported these findings. Cities with warmer climates, such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, and Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando received significant increases.

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