2020 New Home Search Trends in ULI’s Top Residential US Markets

March 20, 2020 3:39 pm Published by

Using Google Trends data, we analyzed changes in search volume for people who might be in market for New Homes, MPCs or General Real Estate. Our analysis showed a slight decrease since the begin of the market decline (Feb 21 – Mar 17) in most variations of real estate searches, including new homes, home builders, luxury homes, gated communities, real estate, and homes for sale. However, when analyzing at a market by market basis for the same time frame, there were some markets that saw improvement, others that saw declines, and some that saw shifts between search categories. Many of the searches that we analyzed saw their highest level of search volume in January since 2017.


All Markets (Feb 21 – Mar 17 vs. previous period):

  • New Homes: -5.7{c2db194752fb8d721def708f1057e2c456bd34d7c76f57f1aa3d1e673d5fbc4c}
  • Home Builders: -4.2{c2db194752fb8d721def708f1057e2c456bd34d7c76f57f1aa3d1e673d5fbc4c}
  • Luxury Homes: -6.7{c2db194752fb8d721def708f1057e2c456bd34d7c76f57f1aa3d1e673d5fbc4c}
  • Gated Communities: 6.1{c2db194752fb8d721def708f1057e2c456bd34d7c76f57f1aa3d1e673d5fbc4c}
  • Homes for sale: -3.8{c2db194752fb8d721def708f1057e2c456bd34d7c76f57f1aa3d1e673d5fbc4c}
  • Real Estate: -5.9{c2db194752fb8d721def708f1057e2c456bd34d7c76f57f1aa3d1e673d5fbc4c}

Improving markets:

  • Charlotte, NC (all terms improving except new homes which was stable)
  • Salt Lake City, UT (improvements in new homes, homes for sale, but decreases in real estate; home builders remained stable)
  • Jacksonville, FL (improvements in new homes, home builders, and homes for sale, but decreases in luxury homes and real estate)

Shifting markets:

  • Houston, TX (increases in home builders, luxury homes, and homes for sale, but decreases in new homes, gated communities, and real estate)
  • Austin, TX (increases in home builders and luxury homes, but decreases in new homes, real estate, and homes for sale)
  • Phoenix, AZ (increases in home builders and homes for sale, but decreases in real estate, new homes, luxury homes, and gated communities)
  • Fort Myers, FL (increases in new homes, gated communities, but decreases in home builders and real estate; homes for sale remained stable)
  • Dallas, TX (increases in home builders, luxury homes, gated communities, but decreases in new homes, real estate, and homes for sale)

Declining markets:

  • Raleigh, NC (all terms saw slight decreases)
  • Nashville, TN (slight increases in home builder and real estate searches, but decreases in luxury homes and homes for sale; new homes searches remained stable).
  • Tampa, FL (slight increase in home builder searches, but decreases in all other terms)
  • Oakland, CA (all terms saw decreases)


We analyzed Google search trends and found that searches for Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Office365, NY Times, Fox News, and CNN have been trending upward since the 2nd week in March. As people have more downtime and are unable to go out for entertainment, internet usage increases.



(Click full screen and arrow across for market by market details.)

Data treatment:

This data was gathered from Google Trends using the pytrends library. Data aggregation may vary between the two sources. Our treatment includes omitting values when data was not available and averaging weekly values for monthly values in time-based charts.

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