It’s that time when we look back and reflect on the events that shaped the year in real estate. But 365 days is a long time. So long that we often forget what happened and when. No problem. Google has a great tool called Google Insights that lets us drill down to when (and where) certain searches were most popular. Just set the Google Insight filter to “2010”, “real estate” and the “United States” and we’re ready to go.
The first search I performed was for “tax credit” and what I immediately notice is that interest peaked the week of April 25 – May 1. You may recall that the extension deadline for putting a house in contract to be eligible for the Home Buyer Tax Credit was April 30, 2010. So the fact that this search was most popular that week makes perfect sense. Regionally, no distinct pattern emerges, with Iowa, Maryland and North Dakota having the highest concentration of searches.
Next, I plugged in “Fannie Mae” and “Freddie Mac.” What sticks out is that for both searches, the week of September 26 – October 2 was the most active and Washington D.C. was where there was the most interest; Congress extended existing conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie that week.
Then I checked out “home sales.” August 22 -28 was the busiest week. Why? On August 24, 2010, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing home sales slowed to the lowest pace since they started tracking the figure in 1999.
Finally I preformed a search for “foreclosure” and “short sales.” What stands out here is that the highest concentration of searches occurred in Nevada, Arizona and Florida. No surprise here, as these States were amongst the most distressed real estate markets in 2010. Searches for “foreclosure” peaked the week of October 10 -16. Interest spiked that week because that was when all 50 states announced they would investigate the largest loan servicers on allegations of improper foreclosures. For “short sales,” more searches were conducted the week of April 4-10 than any other week. That was the week that the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives, or HAFA went into effect for short sales.
Rather than just rehashing some of the bigger stories of the year, I thought it would be Insightful to introduce a pretty cool tool as well. I tried my best to pick the real estate search terms that stood out as the most relevant for 2010. I’m sure I left some important searches out though. If you’re interested in searching a few more, be my guest.