SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Increased activity on realtor.com® suggests that home shoppers are gearing up for a later than usual homebuying season. Realtor.com® listing visits, saves and shares are all up significantly since the first wave of shelter-in-place orders took effect on March 16; especially for those listings with virtual tours. Consumer survey data shows virtual tours have become an essential part of the home search process and will likely remain so even after in-person open houses resume across the country.
Listing visits, saves and shares up significantly
More than 70 percent of realtor.com® users surveyed registered on the site so that they could save homes as a way to track price reductions and make a shortlist of homes to tour post COVID-19. Additionally, since March 16:
- Listing views for single family homes and condos are up 30 percent;
- Saved homes are up 76 percent;
- Shared homes are up 95 percent; and
- Time spent per unique user is up 14 percent.
"Data suggests that home shoppers who had paused their search are now picking it back up, and the spring homebuying season won't be lost, but merely pushed into the summer months," said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, realtor.com®. "Tools such as virtual tours and Livestream Open Houses are enabling consumers to safely continue their home search while maintaining social distancing guidelines and have proven to be very popular with consumers."
Virtual shopping technology is here to stay
Since shelter-in-place orders began, the growth rate of visits to listings with virtual tours has been twice as high as those without. User visits were also 29 percent higher for listings featuring virtual tours, with those listings generating increased engagement and greater likelihood of a consumer connecting with an agent about the home.
"While many consumers don't see virtual tours as a replacement for in-person viewings, they have emerged as a valuable tool to learn more about a home, see details up close and help narrow down the search. We believe virtual tours will remain an integral part of the home search, even when shoppers feel more comfortable visiting homes in-person again," said Hale.
A survey of realtor.com® users found that:
- Two thirds (64 percent) had taken a virtual tour, and of those, 45 percent prefer listings that offer virtual tours;
- Sixty five percent of home buyers believe that virtual tours will continue to be a great resource in their home shopping process even after the pandemic; and
- An additional 8 percent think virtual tours can be a replacement for in-person tours.
- When asked what they like about virtual tours, top responses include:
- They help me eliminate homes that aren't for me (52 percent);
- They help me see the details of a home without having to step inside (43 percent);
- They help me create a shortlist of homes I want to see in person (38 percent); and
- They allow me to see more homes more quickly, without having to drive around to open houses (30 percent).
Visit realtor.com®'s COVID-19 recovery site for information, resources and tools: https://www.realtor.com/covid-19/recovery
Realtor.com® makes buying, selling and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate 20 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps is a trusted source for the information, tools and professional expertise that help people move confidently through every step of their home journey. Using proprietary data science and machine learning technology, realtor.com® pairs buyers and sellers with local agents in their market, helping take the guesswork out of buying and selling a home. For professionals, realtor.com® is a trusted provider of consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today's on-demand world. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. under a perpetual license from the National Association of REALTORS®. For more information, visit realtor.com®.
Nicole Murphy, [email protected]