We may not have a crystal ball that will reveal what the coming months have in store, but by looking at the number of showings that are happening right now, builders can get a sense of COVID-19's impact and what markets are most at risk. ShowingTime, the nation’s largest online appointment center for home showings, is tracking the impact of the pandemic, and states such as Florida, New York, and California are all seeing decreased activity. Despite the alarming dip in showings in areas hit hardest by the virus, there are still a few points on our side: Early warnings will help the country prepare for the possible housing downturns and new virtual tools for showing houses could lessen the blow.
One of the best leading indicators for how the housing market will perform a month or two from now is to look at the number of showings that are taking place right now. In the wake of widespread closures and quarantines, those numbers are dropping ever closer to zero with each passing day.
ShowingTime, the nation’s largest online appointment center for home showings, has been tracking the impact of COVID-19 and are releasing numbers every few days to show in real-time how potential homebuyers and their agents are reacting around the country, providing an insight into how things are going to look for everyone as well as giving policymakers an early heads up. You can see all the data by state and national levels here. If you make the general assumption that a home purchase closes roughly 60-90 days after the home showings take place, it begins to be clear which states are going to be the first to have a housing slowdown. So far, the states that have seen the biggest declines are Nevada and Florida, with New York and California also showing noticeable decreases in showings.