Judging by the behavior of thousands of Internet users, uncertainty and nervousness reign among those hoping to sell their homes this year, with prices still on the rise.
Online searches in the US with the phrase “sell my house fast” soared by 2,750% on Thursday, July 28, just hours after the latest US GDP report was released, according to Google Trends data compiled by real estate firm RubyHome.
RubyHome, a Los Angeles-based luxury real estate agency, analyzed data from Google’s tool during the week of July 25-29 to see how consumers would react to real-time news about a possible economic recession.
Search volume surged after the Commerce Department released a report revealing the economy showed negative growth for the second consecutive quarter, falling to an annual rate of 0.9%.
“The rise in above search terms shows that consumers are nervous right now,” Tony Mariotti, founder and CEO of RubyHome, told The New York Post.
For Mariotti, it is about “a double whammy”: the combination of rising interest rates and shrinking GDP. The outlook does not look good and fuels buyers’ uncertainty about home prices much more.
“Real estate brokers are seeing the effects of this changing sentiment. At RubyHome, we’ve seen a slowdown in second home and luxury home purchases, as wealthier people take a ‘wait and see’ approach,” she added.
Home prices are still higher than a year ago, but gains slowed to the fastest pace on record in June, according to Black Knight, a mortgage software, data and analytics firm that began tracking this metric earlier this week. 1970s.
Black Knight data cited by CNBC indicates that the annual rate of price appreciation fell two percentage points from 19.3% to 17.3%. “Even when home prices plunged sharply during the 2007-09 recession, the sharpest single-month slowdown was 1.19 percentage points,” reported Emmy-winning real estate correspondent Diana Olick.
The price increase remains strong due to the imbalance between supply and demand. The housing market has been in dire shortage for years, and strong demand during the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated it.
For now, prices are not expected to decline nationally. There may be a stronger overall housing market, but higher mortgage rates will take their toll on buyers.
The Average 30-year fixed mortgage rate topped 6% in June, according to Mortgage News Daily. Since then, it has fallen back into the lower 5% range, but is still significantly higher than the 3% range they were in earlier this year.
“What does a recession mean to me?”
Meanwhile, search volume for “what does a recession mean to me” also skyrocketed simultaneously 1900%.
“The silver lining today is that we are not seeing 30 bidders on mid-market homes and there is more inventory on the market than during the pandemic,” Mariotti explained.
While two consecutive quarters of negative growth are often considered a recession, it is not an official definition. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization called the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) determines when the economy is in a recession, NPR recalled last week.
An NBER committee of eight economists makes that determination, and many factors go into that calculation. The White House has refused to call the current economy a recession ahead of the midterm elections.
Real estate brokerage Redfin agrees that decades of high inflation and even higher interest rates have put many would-be homebuyers in the rental market.
Buyers who flocked to some of the “popular migration destinations” at the height of the pandemic are likely to see price drops in those now overheated markets.
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