April 22, 2020 – Whether conducted virtually or in person, real estate showings have rebounded, confirming an underlying demand in the economy according to data from ShowingTime.
“The decline has stopped,” said ShowingTime Chief Analytics Officer Daniil Cherkasskiy. “Showings are rebounding. Our data indicates they continue to increase across the board, jumping 39 percent from two weeks ago, which represents the largest increase since the onset of COVID-19,” he added.
The introduction of a dedicated virtual showing appointment type in early April within ShowingTime’s scheduling systems has been well received by agents, accounting for a growing percentage of showings. The company also released a “no overlapping appointments” option in March for markets where real estate is deemed an essential business, offering more ways for agents, buyers and sellers to adhere to local social distancing guidelines where in-person showings are still permitted.
“The persistent upward momentum we’re seeing affirms that there is an underlying demand from prospective buyers, even if at a level below what we’d typically be seeing during this time of year,” Cherkasskiy said, noting that the rebound has been more pronounced for homes in the $300K-$500K range, as well as higher-priced homes at $800K or more.
“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.”
ShowingTime has developed and released charts on its website that track showing activity across North America, in addition to providing hyper-local charts for more than 100 markets. The data points in the charts represent a rolling weekly average in markets that record tens of thousands of appointments every month.
As expected, the ShowingTime Showing Index recorded declines for March, brought on by state- and province-wide shelter-in-place restrictions enforced throughout much of the U.S. and Canada. The index represents traffic only through the end of March, so it is skewed by the high showing volumes that occurred in the first three weeks of the month before the stream of new listings dried up.
All regions reported year-over-year declines, with the West Region seeing the smallest drop of 4.9 percent compared to 2019. The South Region followed, with a dip of 16.6 percent, while the Midwest and Northeast, hardest hit by COVID-19, followed closely with drops in buyer traffic of 19.3 percent and 20.1 percent, respectively.
The ShowingTime Showing Index, the first of its kind in the residential real estate industry, is compiled using data from property showings scheduled across the country on listings using ShowingTime products and services, providing a benchmark to track buyer demand. ShowingTime facilitates more than five million showings each month.
Released monthly, the Showing Index tracks the average number of appointments received on active listings during the month. Local MLS indices are also available for select markets and are distributed to MLS and association leadership.