It only took a matter of weeks for all the moving parts inside the real estate industry to find a new way of doing business, from switching to all-digital closings to waiving in-person appraisals.
But we’ve even found a way to adapt home showings, with a majority going virtual. The latest numbers from ShowingTime (a free CVAR member benefit on the MLS dashboard) show that showings dropped in step with COVID-19 infection rates, seeing a 43% decline compared to the same week last year.
While showings dropped between March 12 and April 12, data shows that home showings are now on the upswing, with a 39 percent increase in the last two weeks of April. The uptick is likely due to virtual showings rather than in-person showings.
“We’re seeing innovation coming out of pain, as agents have quickly embraced virtual showings to keep their businesses going,” said ShowingTime President Michael Lane.
Showings Are Early Indicator
But because showings are often one of the best early indicators for how the market will perform a few months later, it is a hopeful sign for a real estate market that will have some life left in it. The chatter amongst agents is that even if these showings don’t turn into the clients buying that home, it will still accelerate the market because they’ve been able to rule out the home from their list and can hone their search all the more quickly.
The largest increase in showings has been for homes priced $300,000 to $500,000 as well as those over $800,000, according to ShowingTime.
California, which has had stay at home orders earlier than most states, is slightly better than the national average. Even in markets particularly hard-hit by the virus, like New York, showing numbers are increasing.