The real estate industry has adapted quickly in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. From switching to all digital closings to waiving in-person appraisals, it only took a matter of weeks for all the moving parts inside the industry to find a new way of doing business. Home showings had to adapt too and the latest numbers suggest this part of the homebuying process won’t be left in the dust. As the data from national showing service ShowingTime shows, home showings dropped precipitously almost as soon as infection rates reached a tipping point, seeing a 43% decline compared to the same week last year.
However, if we look at the past week and a half, the trajectory has started an upward trend of a 39% increase compared to the earlier time frame. This is most likely all due to virtual showings rather than in-person showings, but since showings are often one of the best early indicators for how the market will perform a few months later it is a hopeful sign for a real estate market that will have some life left in it. The chatter amongst agents is that even if these showings don’t turn into the clients buying that home, it will still accelerate the market because they’ve been able to rule out the home from their list and can hone their search all the more quickly.
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“We’re seeing innovation coming out of pain, as agents have quickly embraced virtual showings to keep their businesses going,” said ShowingTime President Michael Lane. “More and more virtual showings are scheduled every day through our systems, signaling that many markets are responding to this innovation positively.”
Daniil Cherkasskiy, Chief Analytics Officer at ShowingTime, adds that the biggest increase in showings has been in homes prices $300-$500,000 and those over $800,000. He says showings typically track 30-45 days ahead of sales data so closed sales could follow a similar pattern.
Here’s a look at a few specific states:
Even New York, with one of the highest prevalence rates of coronavirus, has seen the number of showings edge upwards.
California, which has had stay at home orders earlier than most states, is slightly better than the national average.
Nebraska, which did start to drop a few weeks ago, is a market that hasn’t seen such a calamitous decline.
Florida, long a barometer of how the housing market is doing, is seeing improvement.
For a look at the data for each state, head to the ShowingTime interactive map here.
My work has appeared in The Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and a variety of other publications. Real estate has been a main beat of mine for years now, having come by it honestly since I grew up working for my family's construction firm. B.A. from Brown University and MHS from Johns Hopkins School Of Public Health. As I hail from British background I divide my time between Washington D.C. and various parts of the U.K. depending on the weather. Email tips and stories to amydobsonRE@gmail.com. And after years of being a Twitter holdout I've finally joined. Follow me @amyroseRE.
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