If ShowingTime’s monthly index is any indication, the spring market is poised to take off early this year. The home showing management, scheduling and market statistics software company regularly tracks the average number of appointments that are scheduled on active listings on its software during any given month.
This January marked a 20.2% overall year-over-year increase in national showing traffic, marking the sixth consecutive month of growth nationwide. However, ShowingTime Chief Analytics Officer Daniil Cherkasskiy stressed that “January 2019 was somewhat subdued due to extreme weather conditions in parts of the country at the time, reflecting an exaggerated year-over-year growth for January 2020.”
In the “normally sleepy” Midwest, ShowingTime recorded 15.7% year-over-year growth in the showing index, resulting in a reading of 138.4 for January. While impressive, this still comes slightly below the national average showing index of 153.4. By comparison, December had a showing index of 89.3, marking an all-year low for 2019. When looking at year-over-year growth starting in January 2018, the index was at 137.6 with 5.3% growth from the previous year. Then in 2019, the index sank to 119.6, a 13.1% decrease. Although there was significant growth year-over-year for the Midwest, much of that activity represented a catching up on that significant drop in 2019.
The way that ShowingTime compiles this data is by comparing current activity “relative to [an] initial index value set to 100 for January 2014.” While the time period of comparison is still relatively small, Cherkasskiy said the current data still reflects record levels of showings for listings, which he optimistically interpreted to mean that “the housing market will be quite competitive this spring.”