The hot U.S. housing market may soon be hitting turbulence, as an unprecedented number of Americans are looking to put up their houses for sale when home affordability is at an all-time low.
According to Google Analytics provided by luxury real estate platform RubyHome, searches for “sell my house” soared 147% in July 2022. That’s the highest level of people looking to sell their homes in U.S. internet history, as rising mortgages, soaring home prices, and a looming recession are cooling off demand for houses.
In addition, the data also reveals that searches for “sell my house for cash” are also at an all-time high, suggesting trouble ahead for the U.S. home market.
“These findings highlight the turbulent status of the housing market,” A spokesperson from RubyHome said in an email to International Business Times. “Particularly since the pandemic began, we’ve seen house prices skyrocket, which has an adverse effect, ultimately becoming unaffordable and more challenging to sell in the long run. This can then create a bit of a stale-mate situation for both buyers and sellers. “
If this trend continues, RubyHome thinks a market correction could likely happen soon, despite persistent inflation, making houses an attractive investment.
“Houses can be one of the most valuable assets to own, and selling can see great returns, particularly with the rate of inflation on properties increasing rapidly,” the RubyHome spokesperson added. “However, sellers may be forced to lower costs to make a sale with the disparity between the rising cost of living and income consistently growing.”
Marcus Larrea of Palm Paradise Real Estate in Fort Myers, Florida, provides further evidence that many Americans are anxious to sell their houses.
“People were Googling ‘sell my house’ in July at such high rates because market prices hit their peak around April or May,” he told IBT in an email. “People considering selling their homes are starting to realize they might miss the peak and are trying to prepare their homes to be on the market quickly.”
Like RubyHome, Palm Paradise Real Estate sees a surge in “sell my house” searches.
“My real estate team noticed a sharp uptick in unique visits to our website, and visitors were spending more time on the site than in previous months,” Larrea adds. “Evidently, people are renewing their interest in selling their homes. That means more inventory will be coming on the market, which we already have seen. This will help slow down the increasing prices.”
But he thinks that sellers have already missed the market peak.
“My team is seeing price decreases on listings because sellers set their asking price based on the height of the market, but that high mark happened between April and May. So as homes sit on the market longer, sellers realize they need to reduce their price.”
But that is a positive development, according to Larrea. It could help the market clear.
“Homeowners’ renewed interest in selling their homes will bring more inventory to the market,” he adds. “This is a good thing! I know that sounds counterintuitive for a realtor who makes money on commissions, but at the end of the day, an overpriced market drives buyers away. A stable, reasonably-priced market is not only good for home buyers but also the real estate industry as a whole.”
Jack Pinard, the COO for Summit RE Group, LLC, a residential real estate redevelopment company in New England, isn’t surprised by the spike in the number of people looking to sell their homes.
“This recent search analysis of ‘sell my house’ and ‘sell my house for cash’ honestly comes as no surprise to most real estate professionals who are constantly working in the residential homeowner space,” he told IBT in an email.
But he thinks it’s part of a disturbing trend, as some people fear losing their homes, their credit ratings and their equity.
“As a result, thousands upon thousands of owners begin where most people begin these days—on a Google search,” he added. “These somewhat broad searches will likely give them far too many results to process. Many will refine their search to ‘sell my house fast Massachusetts’ and other more localized terms.”