As buyer demand continues to rebalance from historic highs reached in 2021, home showing activity is slowing. Buyers who haven’t been priced out of the housing market are taking more time to consider their options. 

According to data from ShowingTime (which was acquired by Zillow), July foot traffic has seen a 16.8% year-over-year decline. 

Taken out of context, this might sound like discouraging news. But compared to the buyer frenzy of the past couple of years, this is a return to more normal levels. 

Regaining balance

The intense buyer competition in 2020-2021 was not sustainable. Prices shot up, mortgage rates spiked, and buyer demand cooled. Sellers noticed their homes weren’t getting multiple offers well over the asking price, so many of them backed off as well

We’re seeing the natural and predictable aftermath of an intense buying frenzy, combined with mortgage rates that are higher than we’ve been used to—but still considerably lower than years past. 

The latest data from the ShowingTime Showing Index® shows a year-over-year decline in buyer activity, particularly home showings. The slide is part of a general rebalancing of the housing market across the U.S. as inventory increases while fewer buyers shop for homes. 

The decline in home showings varied from one area to another, with the Northeast seeing the smallest dip (9.9%) in buyer activity in July, followed by the Midwest’s 13.5% drop. The South saw a decline of 24.2%, and the West again took the lead with the largest year-over-year drop at 44%. 

Over the same month, the U.S. housing market overall experienced a 16.8% drop in home showings. 

The slowdown in showings tracks with the overall market rebalancing that’s taking place across the country. Conditions for buyers are less competitive than they were last year at this time, while a general increase in available inventory in most markets has not only given buyers more options to consider, but more time to consider them.

Michael Lane

ShowingTime Vice President and General Manager

The outliers

Not all metros saw a decline in home showings. Burlington, VT, was one of only four markets in the top 25, with a year-over-year uptick in the number of showings per listing. 

Burlington was the only market with double-digit showings per listing, with an average of 12.1 in July, giving this metro the top spot for the third consecutive month. 

After Burlington, Hartford, CT, Appleton, WI, and Syracuse, NY are also seeing a rise in the number of showings per listing. Trenton, NJ, saw a month-over-month increase of 4%, making it the only market in the top 25 with an increase in buyer traffic compared to June. 

Among the top 50 busiest U.S. markets, only two other cities—El Paso, TX and Bremerton, WA—recorded month-over-month increases: 2% and 4%, respectively. 

Top takeaways for real estate agents

If you’re an agent in one of the many metros experiencing a drop in home showings, help your sellers through the adjusting market. Explain what is happening as the market rebalances, and be sure to market the home so it gets a high number of buyers interested.