Knock on wood, but homebuyers and renters may finally feel comfortable enough to jump back into the housing search. Requests for showings are up, virtual traffic is increasing, and demand is bouncing back. After weeks of declines, requests for virtual or in-person showings jumped 39 percent for the week ending April 20 compared to the one ending April 6, according to the software and real estate market statistics company ShowingTime. And Redfin and RentCafé have reported increases in activity on their sites. It seems that the housing industry’s pivot towards virtual strategies in response to the coronavirus may be paying off.
Stay-at-home guidelines haven’t stopped people from virtually looking for a new place to live. Data from Google search traffic and from home sales and rental websites indicate that after searches related to apartments and requests to view homes dropped in March and early April, they have picked up again.
ShowingTime, which provides software and market statistics for the real estate industry, reported a 39 percent increase in national home showings scheduled on its tools for the week ending April 20 compared with the week ending April 6. The decline in requests for virtual or in-person visits to properties began March 14 and continued through the first week in April, ending a seven-month streak of growth in requests when comparing each month to that same month in the previous year. (Year-over-year statistics tend to provide more information about the housing market because it accounts for seasonal fluctuations.) The rebound in showing requests in April was highest among homes priced between $300,000 and $500,000 and among homes priced at $800,000 or more.