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Urban Exodus to Suburbs Not Yet Playing Out, Zillow says

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Urban Exodus to Suburbs Not Yet Playing Out, Zillow says


June 2, 2020
Couple walking in suburbs
By Llstock

Waiting for a wave of city dwellers to rush to the suburbs? Zillow says not to count your chickens before they hatch. Though they’re seeing an increase in traffic to the real estate listing site, the company’s CEO Richard Barton says that there isn’t really a pattern and that there isn’t a crazy uptick in searches for homes in the suburbs. Instead, people are just dissatisfied in general with where they’re currently living and seem to be searching for something new. Shopping traffic to for-sale homes is up 50 percent year over year, but whether that translates to sales is still up in the air—with so many people home browsing, it could be that window shopping has taken on a literal meaning as people dream about their next home. 

Zillow CEO Richard Barton told CNBC on Friday that the online real estate company has not observed a dramatic spike in people moving out of dense, urban areas due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We’re all searching for our data to confirm our bias, or our theory, that people are moving out of the city into the suburbs,” Barton said on “Squawk on the Street.” “We get 100 million clicks a day in our apps and sites, so we can see all this shopping data, and we’re not really seeing that yet.” 

To be sure, Barton said Zillow is seeing significant increases in people looking for homes on its platforms. Shopping traffic to for-sale homes is up 50% year over year, Barton said. 

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