Even though the housing market is no longer experiencing the frenzy that was so characteristic of the last couple of years, it doesn’t mean today’s market is at a standstill. In actuality, buyer traffic is still heavy today.
The ShowingTime Showing Index measures how much buyers are touring homes. The graph below uses that index to illustrate buyer activity trends to help put today into the proper perspective.
It shows there’s seasonality in real estate. If you look at the last average years in the market (shown in gray), there was a consistent pattern as buyer activity peaked in the first half of each year (during the peak homebuying season in the spring) and slowed as each year came to a close.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, that trend was disrupted as the market responded to the resulting uncertainty (shown in blue in the middle). From there, we entered the ‘unicorn’ years of housing (shown in pink). This was when mortgage rates were record-low, and buyer demand was sky-high. Similar seasonal trends still existed even during that time, just at much higher levels.
Now, let’s look at 2023. Traffic is down from the previous month and lower than the peaks we saw in the ‘unicorn’ years. But what’s happening isn’t a steep drop off in demand – it’s a slow return toward more normal seasonality. As the ShowingTime report explains:
“Showing traffic declined about 10% in May . . . This follows a typical seasonal pattern – disrupted by the pandemic but now beginning to return . . .”
And, to highlight this isn’t a drastic decline, let’s zoom in. Here’s a graph using the May data for the last five years. It shows just how strong buyer demand still is.
What Does That Mean for You?
Buyers are still out there touring homes. They’re more active than in May 2022 (when sticker shock over higher mortgage rates started to set in) and certainly more than in the last average years. So, remember, buyer activity is still intense. And it could be even stronger if it wasn’t constrained by the limited supply of homes for sale. According to U.S. News:
“Housing markets have cooled slightly, but demand hasn’t disappeared, and in many places remains strong largely due to the shortage of homes on the market.”
Don’t lose sight of just how active the market still is today. If your house isn’t on the market, it’s not getting in front of all those buyers looking to make a purchase right now. Let’s connect to start the process.