The number of buyers requesting home tours declined for the first time in 27 months on a year-over-year basis according to data for April 2018 on the Redfin  Demand Index.
The online brokerage firm said that the index  fell 1.3 percent month over month to 106 in April, recording the third consecutive month of declines in 2018. Year over year, the index declined 11.5 percent from April 2017.
The Redfin Demand Index is based on requests from Redfin customers for home tours and writing offers across 15 metropolitan areas. It is adjusted for Redfin’s market share with a level of 100 representing the historical average for the three-year period from January 2013 to December 2015.
Redfin said that the number of buyers requesting home tours dropped 3.7 percent annually, whereas the number of buyers making an offer during the same period declined 22.1 percent.
Low levels of listings in March were to blame for the low numbers and home tour requests according to Nela Richardson, Chief Economist at Redfin. However, the index indicated that newly listed homes for sale increased 6.6 percent in April compared to a year earlier.
“April’s 6.6 percent increase in new listings is a positive turn for homebuyers and bodes well for May and June sales,” Richardson said giving her view of future trends during the peak homebuying season.
The data indicated that across the 15 metros covered by the index, the number of homes for sale fell 7.3 percent on a year-over-year basis, marking the thirty-fifth consecutive month of falling supply.
The cities covered by the index include Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco and Oakland in California; Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Washington, D.C.
To learn how inventory supply challenges impacted housing demand in March, click here .