Interest in the housing market has peaked on Google, with searches for whether a crash is imminent shooting up in 2022. The spike suggests homeowners are nervous about their market timing.

More people are scouring the internet for search terms like “housing crash” than at any time since 2007, according to an Inman review of Google Trends data.

And while “housing crash” was also a popular query back during the subprime mortgage crisis, more forward-looking questions, such as, “Will the housing market crash,” now appear to be at all-time highs.

The popularity of these search terms speaks to the volatility and uncertainty of these times in the housing market, where prices have been inflated to their highest levels ever and — for now, at least — are remaining there even as demand for homes continues to wane.

“The spike in searches about a housing crash suggests homeowners, particularly those thinking of selling, are increasingly nervous about their market timing,” Tony Mariotti, founder and CEO of RubyHome, told Inman in an email.

Throughout the pandemic, Google users were more likely to ask, “Will the housing market crash,” if they lived in some of the hottest housing markets with high amounts of inbound migration.

People in Idaho and Utah were particularly likely to wonder where the market is heading, with Florida, Arizona and Colorado rounding out the Top 5.

But the fact these searches are more popular than ever may also speak to how much the term “housing crash” became embedded in our collective psyche after the mortgage crisis of 2007.

The phrase “housing crash” itself was a popular Google search term throughout the crisis, reaching its peak even before prices began their protracted fall. But in the decade-and-a-half since then, the term had mostly fallen out of regular use, rising only gradually for years, according to the search giant.

But in 2022 rising mortgage rates began to make a major dent in home demand. Crash-related searches shot up around then as well.

At the end of the day what people ask on major search engines may not predict what happens in the housing market — at least not with confidence. But interest in what happens next appears to be on the rise.

Email Daniel Houston

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