After coming to a grinding halt in March, national home-showing activity has finally bounced back, according to ShowingTime’s May market report published on Wednesday. Across the board, showings increased 21.4 percent year-over-year in May — the highest growth pace since February.
ShowingTime Chief Analytics Officer Daniil Cherkasskiy said the boost is due to real estate agents’ quick adoption of virtual showing tools and states loosening shelter-in-place restrictions to allow smaller, in-person open houses.
“For the first time since February, U.S. showing activity was up year-over-year on the heels of increasing agent adoption of virtual showing technology to present listings,” he said. “The loosening of local restrictions on showings taking place throughout the country has also played a role in renewed buyer interest.”
“Together, those two factors have contributed to impressive boosts in year over year showing activity in all four regions tracked by ShowingTime,” he added.
Among the four regions, the South experienced the biggest year-over-year increase at 23.2 percent. The Midwest region came second with a 20.1 percent increase, while the West and Northeast tied for third with a 19.6 percent boost from May 2019.
As a result of renewed buyer demand, Cherkasskiy said homebuyers should expect home prices to begin climbing again after a minimal decline at the beginning of the pandemic.
“The turnaround so far resulted in market imbalance with demand outstripping supply and pushing the prices up in many regions of the country,” he said. “While showing traffic typically subsides mildly after Easter when it reaches a plateau for the summer months, this year looks drastically different as the busiest time is hitting us in early June.”
Although prices will be higher, Cherkasskiy noted buyers will have more to choose from as sellers decide to reenter the housing market this summer.
“The increased buyer demand might be creating a feedback loop, inspiring sellers who would have previously given up on selling this time of year to instead put their home back on the market and make another attempt,” he said.