BAM Key Details:

  • As smoke from Canada’s wildfires created hazardous air quality in the Northeast, homeowners in New York started searching for a way out.
  • This week, Google searches for “sell my house fast” increased by 2,147% in New York, according to an analysis by FindStorageFast.

New York City is making headlines for all the wrong reasons, with hazardous smog bringing the city’s air quality index readings to nearly 400.

Surpassing even the notorious pollution of cities like New Delhi, NYC’s air has become so toxic that residents are eager to escape—and not just temporarily. In the midst of all the smoke, desperate homeowners are turning to Google with one plea: “Please, someone, buy my house fast!”

A Breath of Orange Skies

Smoke from the wildfires in Canada has spread across the Northeast, wrapping The Big Apple in a blanket of orange skies. With air quality at an all-time low, authorities are advising people to stay indoors. However, some folks are taking this as a sign to get out of the city for good, with many turning to Google for help.

Panic Mode: “Sell My House Fast” Edition

Amid the smoke, homeowners in New York City took to their keyboards in a frenzy. Search data this week revealed a seismic shift in online behavior. “Sell my house fast” became the battle cry of homeowners on June 7, causing the search term to explode by 2,147%, according to an analysis by FindStorageFast, a storage unit booking company. 

Public data on Google Trends also showcases the surge in traffic for “sell my house fast” in New York:

sell my house fast

Google search data over time for “sell my home fast” in New York. Screenshot/Google Trends

Searches for “sell my house” and “sell home” also quadrupled on Google, along with a 2,418% increase in the term “air purifier” in New York. It’s as if people are in a race against time, frantically typing with oxygen masks on, desperately seeking a way out. 

What Does This Mean For The Market?

The confluence of air pollution-induced distress, rising mortgage rates, and increasing housing costs creates a complex dilemma for the New York housing market. Mortgage rates are hovering near 7%, a significant rise from the 3% mark observed just a year and a half ago. In parallel, the average home price in New York has increased by 2.7% compared to the previous year, according to the Zillow Home Values Index.

As the smoke clears, we’ll find out how many New York City homeowners are serious about getting out of the city.

As the housing market becomes a bigger challenge in America, it will be interesting to see if this spike translates into more listings and sales and what this may mean for the city’s housing market long-term.

D'Arcy Hunter

CEO and Founder, FindStorageFast