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Is the Housing Market Recovering? Too Early to Tell, Real Estate Consultant Says

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Is the Housing Market Recovering? Too Early to Tell, Real Estate Consultant Says

May 8, 2020
Aerial of neighborhood houses
By Mario

Search activity and loans for purchase volume are up, but does that mean the housing market is making a recovery? Though these are positive signs, real estate consultant Mike DelPrete says it is too early to tell. As great as it is that people are looking at homes, that does not necessarily mean they’re looking for a home or are ready to buy. Because we don't have a full set of comparable data for April yet, it is very hard to get a full understanding of current market conditions since surveys go out at different times. And DelPrete reiterates an important fact to keep in mind: There is not true national housing market. A recovery in one state or city does not mean that one that was harder hit by the virus will be at the same pace. 

As the United States enters its third month under the COVID-19 pandemic, glimmers of hope have emerged in the housing market that suggest that after the pandemic passes, a housing market recovery won’t be too far behind.

Listings platforms like Redfin and Zillow highlight normalizing web traffic to their sites as hints that buyers are ready to shop once again. A jump in weekly mortgage applications goes even further, suggesting shoppers are already prepared to buy.

A number of recent headlines have hinted that the housing recovery is already underway, powered by press releases from companies like Redfin (which have an incentive to keep investor sentiment positive). But cherry picking individual or even a handful of data can lead to spurious conclusions about the current state of the housing market. Housing data as a whole is decidedly mixed and practically impossible to string together into a clear narrative.

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