If office tenants prove reluctant to take up space in Sydney's CBD in 2013, the Swans will be well positioned to take the premiership for the second year in a row. They're tipped to beat West Coast, with the club's place in the grand final assured if strong demand continues to push down Perth's office vacancy rate.
At least that's the prediction of Knight Frank researcher Richard Jenkins, who has applied the complex mathematical models used by commercial agencies to forecast property trends to pick the outcome of the 2013 footy season.
After analysing a decade of data, Mr Jenkins has found "correlations" between major market indicators - net absorption, vacancy rates, stock levels, industrial production and unemployment - and the performance of most of the league's 18 teams.
"I'd seen some of the investment banks use their models to predict the World Cup, and I wanted to see if my model could predict the AFL ladder," Mr Jenkins said.
As for how or why the Saints' performance is connected to the St Kilda Road office market, that remains anybody's guess.
But in its inaugural run last year, the model correctly predicted - in March - that the Sydney Swans would win the premiership six months later.
The ranking of four other teams was also correctly picked, while seven clubs were out of place on the ladder by just one spot.
"The one really interesting correlation involves Richmond and consumer confidence. It's actually a good barometer of where they will finish," Mr Jenkins said.
He tipped the Tigers to end up fourth on the ladder this year.
No punters have come asking for a look at the model's algorithms.
2013 LADDER PREDICTIONS
2 West Coast
9 St Kilda
12 Western Bulldogs
13 North Melbourne
15 Port Adelaide
16 Gold Coast