Even though the housing market is no longer experiencing the frenzy that was so characteristic of the last couple of years, that doesn’t mean today’s market is at a standstill. In reality, buyer traffic is still strong today.
The ShowingTime Showing Index is a measure of the frequency with which buyers are touring homes. The graph below uses that index to illustrate buyer activity trends over time to help put today into the proper perspective.
It demonstrates seasonality in real estate. If you look at the last “normal” 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 of 2020, that trend was disrupted as the market responded to the resulting uncertainty (shown in black in the middle). From there, we entered the ‘unicorn’ years of housing (shown in red). This is 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 it’s also lower than the peaks we saw in the ‘unicorn’ years. But what’s happening is not a steep drop off in demand – it’s a slow return to 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 that this isn’t a drastic decline, let’s zoom in. Here’s a graph using just the May data for the last five years. It shows just how strong buyer demand still is.
So What Does That Mean For You?
Buyers are still out there touring homes. They’re more active than they were in May 2022 (when sticker shock over higher mortgage rates started to set in) and certainly more than they were in the years before the pandemic. So, remember, buyer activity is still strong – and it might actually be even more robust if it weren’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.”
The above is particularly true in our North Texas market. Don’t lose sight of just how active the market still is today – give me a call to discuss the current equity in your home so we can get it in front of these active buyers.