Uncertain times, calls for record-breaking home search volume? With the current pandemic, interest rates have lowered, and thousands of Americans are stuck at home, many of them confined to their computers. Amid Google searches around the epidemic, several Americans are also searching for homes online.
The NestReady team wanted to evaluate the search volume for the keywords "buy house" and "buy home," and overall website traffic for home listing platforms in March to see how the quarantine and the pandemic are impacting user searches and web traffic in the field of real estate.
Read on to see our findings:
The search term volume for the keywords - “buy house” and “buy home” were at relatively the same level for the majority of the year. We can see a spike at the end of the year as the interest rate goes to 0.25% for “buy home” search keyword term.
Once there is a recovery from the pandemic, the interest rates will go up, homebuyers who are aware of this will likely try and take advantage of this short term window of opportunity.
Please refer to the 25-year interest rate chart below:
An overview of keyword interest for the terms "buy house'" and "buy home" in the category - real estate.
The chart shows that the keyword “buy house” just reached its peak interest point of 100. This level is the highest interest point it has ever been! The peek in interest can be attributed to the meager interest rates on mortgages and the number of people stuck at home with more time to look online during the quarantine.
Now let’s take a look at a few large real estate platforms and see if their website traffic correlates to the data that we see on Google Trends!
Zillow has seen it’s highest website traffic month in March 2020 since the website was created. With the month not over, we are seeing 59 million visits.
The same is happening for Trulia, with over 15 million visits to its website in March 2020. Similar to Zillow, Trulia is also on the path to its highest website traffic month.
Redfin - repeats the trend of Zillow and Trulia by having March become its highest-performing month in terms of web visits - surpassing 7 million visits.
Given that there is a correlation between Google search data and the growing number of visits to real estate platform websites - what are the properties that Americans are looking for?
Ranch homes that are typically quite popular - are experiencing a decline in search popularity. But, overall the keyword term 'ranch homes' is still very popular with a ranking of 73 points.
What about other property categories? Log house?
Interest in secluded log homes is increasing in March and moving towards 100 points mark. This number is the highest interest the keyword term 'log house' has ever experienced. This increase could be attributed to the increasing fear of the pandemic and the desire for isolation.
What can realtors do during the pandemic for homebuyers?
Given that there is a very obvious increase in web interest in buying homes, realtors should take advantage of this opportunity by making some changes to the ways in which they conduct business that is reflective of our current and very unique circumstances.
Currently, the majority of Americans are under quarantine. As a result, there are more and more people who have ample time and resources to
search online for homes.
The above data suggests that the interest in buying homes is there, however, the pandemic makes it very difficult for homebuyers to view homes and for home sellers to allow others into their homes for a viewing. Therefore, realtors should utilize technology to enable remote visits of homes; this can be done through apps like Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. They can also consider uploading videos of the properties to allow homebuyers to get a closer and in-depth look at the properties that they are interested in buying.
Want to learn more?
Are you wondering how and if the current pandemic is reshaping home search trends? Stay tuned for our upcoming white paper, which will further analyze search data and trends around different types of homes and their popularity across the United States.