A fellow NextHomie, Mike Drutar of NextHome Paradise Realty, hit me with this stat a few weeks back and I thought it was powerful enough to share with everyone (thanks for the share Mike!).
This graph is the Google Trends report for the search term “real estate” from the last five years and here is something interesting… it seems to be slowing down at a time when it normally is heating up.
We see it peak on April 11th through the 17th where it touches the high water mark and then has a steady trend line down. Let me be clear, it’s “down” from an all-time high in interest since July of 2020 (other than the normal holiday swoon) it has been a white hot search term. This is for sure because of one factor, and could be because of another. Let’s discuss.
End of school slowdown: the real estate market always slows down for a week or two at the end of the school year. There is a shift in life schedules and frankly people with kids have a few weeks of chaos as they (and the kids) adjust to a new schedule and rhythm of life (and I can say this because I am one in the chaos). This shift is baked in and part of what is being reflected in the search numbers.
As I am writing this on June 22nd, this is normally when you see it start to bounce. The new rhythm has been established (my house is giving Disney+ a time blocked chunk of our day on the regular) and you see home buyers and you would think searches go on the rise, but it is still declining.
We have to wait a bit longer to see if this trend line holds but I think this could be a factor of buyer fatigue. When you have prices rise as fast as they have over the last few years, and when you have inventory as constrained as it is, and buyers writing offer and offer and getting beat out, eventually they say, “Hey, maybe this isn’t the time for us.” Or, at a minimum, they back away to catch their breath, adjust to the new reality of prices and sometimes adjust their home buying desire.
Let me add that we in the industry hate this. We hate that the reason for a buyer not buying isn’t their ability to qualify, isn’t a change in their vision for their life, it’s just simply because they are burnt out in the process, or have gone from being able to afford it to not being able to afford it. That hurts. We’re in the business of helping people fulfill their dreams of homeownership, we don’t like being in the business of watching those dreams die.
Lastly, Mike has a great video on inflation if you want to nerd out on that you can find that HERE. Also, he is in Hawaii, so I am currently working on going to meet him for coffee so we can discuss a bunch of other charts and graphs with a pineapple beverage in hand. Many mahalos, Mike, for the graph.