Buyer Activity Increases Despite Higher Mortgage Rates

If you're a homeowner considering a relocation, you may be wondering if now is a good time to sell your property. Now for the good news. Even with rising mortgage rates, buyer traffic is increasing.

Data from the latest ShowingTime Showing Index, which is a measure of buyers actively touring homes, helps paint the picture of how much buyer demand has increased in recent months (see graph below):

The graph illustrates that buyer traffic increased significantly in the first two months of 2023. This is most likely due to the restricted number of available homes, which kept buyers looking even during the colder months.

To help tell the story of why the latest report is significant, let’s compare foot traffic this February with each February for the last six years (see graph below). It shows this was one of the best Februarys for buyer activity we’ve seen in recent memory.

In the last six years, we saw the most February buyer traffic in 2021 and 2022 (shown in green above), but those years were highly unusual for the housing market. So, if we compare February 2023 with the more normal, pre-pandemic years, the data shows this year still marks a clear rise in buyer activity.

The uptick in buyer traffic is even more noteworthy considering the increase in mortgage rates this February. The Freddie Mac 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose from 6.09% during the week of February 2nd to 6.50% in the week of February 23rd. But even with higher rates, more buyers were looking for a home.

Jeff Tucker, Senior Economist at Zillow, says the increased buyer activity could continue:

“More buyers will keep coming out of the woodwork. We always see a seasonal uptick in home shoppers in March and April . . .”

If you're hoping to sell your home, the fact that buyers are still active in the market this year should give you hope. It's a hint that buyers are seeking for properties similar to yours. Working with a real estate expert to market your home now will put it in front of prospective buyers right away.

Bottom Line

Rising foot traffic is a positive sign for the property market this year, indicating that buyers are eager to buy this year despite increased mortgage rates. Let's talk if you're ready to sell your home.

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