Americans are resuming their house hunting online after taking a pause during the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. One way to track potential buyer interest: internet searches.
LendingTree’s team analyzed Google search data to see how popular the search term “homes for sale” is in 50 of the nation’s largest metros. Overall, searches for the term “homes for sale” have risen in every metro tracked, compared to their 2020 lows at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S..
By the end of April, the number of property searches had rebounded by 54%.
The metros with the largest percentage increase in Google searches for “homes for sale”: Tucson, Ariz. (up 164.71% by the end of April compared to its 2020 low); Rochester, N.Y. (up 118.92%); and Jacksonville, Fla. (up 96.08%).
From March to April, Tucson, New Orleans, and Miami posted the largest month-over-month increases in property search growth.
“There are probably people who think there are going to be bargains in the marketplace,” says Tendayi Kapfidze, LendingTree’s chief economist, about the property search rebound. “They might be anticipating that there will be fewer buyers competing because many people have had a disruption to their incomes or are uncertain about the outlook for their jobs. The low interest rates also make it an attractive time.”