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Realtor.com’s Website Has ‘Record-Level’ Buyer Interest

The site created a Housing Market Recovery Index just a few weeks ago to gauge the market’s return to “normal,” and real estate is already close to pre-pandemic levels.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Realtor.com says its monthly website traffic hit an all-time high of 86 million unique users in June 2020, breaking May’s record of 85 million unique users. It also broke its daily record on June 25 when 7 million unique users visited the site.

Realtor.com created a new Housing Market Recovery Index in early June to gauge how fast the pandemic-slowed real estate market returned to “normal.” The index considers a score of 100 to represent the real estate market on Feb. 1, 2020 – before the pandemic hit – and any current metro score below 100 represents its relative weakness compared to the pre-pandemic market.

In many metro areas, however, the index has returned to something close to normal; in some areas, it’s even improved.

In the four Florida metro areas realtor.com includes in its Index, one has already passed the Feb. 1 baseline – Jacksonville with an index of 100.4 – and the other three are only slightly below for the week ending July 4.

Nationwide, the index number reached 97.8, which is the largest weekly increase since the index was introduced. The week’s 2.1 point increase week-to-week brings the index just 2.2 points below the pre-COVID baseline.

However, supply remains the biggest factor that will slow a recovery, realtor.com analysts say. Total listings on realtor.com are down 31% year-to-year.

“All-time low mortgage rates and easing job losses have boosted buyer confidence back to pre-pandemic levels,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com. “With supply at record lows, the backlog of demand portends increased competition and a seller’s market in the weeks ahead. While buyers are back, growth in home sales this summer will be constrained by the slow return of sellers and the limited amount of homes hitting the market.

Nationwide, listings spent three days less on the market year-to-year the week of July 4. Asking prices on realtor.com were up 6.2%, and the number of new listings were down 4%. Out of the 50 metros included in the Index, the Boston area ranked first with a score of 119.9; the Milwaukee metro area ranked last with a score of 85.8.

Florida metros listed in Index top 50 on July 4

13. Jacksonville – 100.4 (down 0.3 week-to-week)

22. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford – 98.7 (up 2.4 week-to-week)

31. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – 96.5 (down 0.3 week-to-week)

37. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach – 95.2 (down 0.7 week-to-week)

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