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The number of home showings in the U.S. was down in December compared to one year prior, though a new report suggests the slowdown may be improving.
The report, from ShowingTime, reveals that the company’s Showing Index — which is a measure of showing traffic across the country — was down 32.2 percent in December compared to the same period in 2021. That dip reflects what many agents have seen firsthand, namely the market in 2022 was far slower than it was in 2021.
But the report isn’t all bad news.
In fact, it explains that showing traffic fell just 3.7 percent in December compared to one month prior. Moreover, “national home showing traffic is still above seasonal pre-pandemic levels,” the report notes. And in one region, the West, showing traffic was actually up month over month.
“The West was the only region to post an increase in buyer foot traffic from the previous month — albeit a modest one at 2.7 percent — likely driven by several major Western metros seeing a pickup in activity as the year came to a close,” the report reads.
Alternatively, the Midwest saw month-over-month showing traffic dip 3.8 percent while in the Northeast showings dropped 6.1 percent. Traffic was flat in the South, the report also notes.
Real Trends first reported on the ShowingTime findings.
While the discoveries shown in the report are a far cry from a full-fledged rebound compared to what happened in much of 2022, they do offer some hope that the worst of the market shift might be passing. Mike Lane, a vice president at ShowingTime, attributed the findings to improved mortgage rates at the end of 2022.
“There are early signals — including the small bounce back of showings in Western markets — that buyers are responding to December’s improvement in mortgage rates,” Lane said in the report.
Overall, Austin and Seattle saw the biggest year-over-year declines in showings, both with a dip of 58 percent. Other cities with large year-over-year drops in showing traffic include Denver, Phoenix, Portland and Atlanta.
Month over month, Boise, Idaho, saw the largest jump in showings, with traffic up 75 percent in December compared to November. San Francisco saw traffic jump 28 percent. Other cities with meaningful month-over-month increases include Seattle and Los Angeles.
Overall, the report also notes that in December “most for-sale properties averaged between two and seven showings, in line with the previous several months.”
Though it remains to be seen how the 2023 market will shake out, Lane was ultimately upbeat about the near term.
“We expect that more buyers will reemerge as we head into spring,” he concluded in the report, “and that we’ll see this reflected in home showing activity.”