App downloads are a good proxy for home buyers “top of funnel”, as net new installs of real estate and rental apps signify intent in one or the other. As housing market sentiment speculation continues, we look to where the real customer activity of real estate and rental apps have to say.

Real estate app downloads in Q2 are lukewarm with June numbers pulling QoQ growth down, reflective of higher mortgage rates. Downloads have proved out as a leading indicator in previous quarters – just look at the download spike in January leading a February increase in existing home sales.

Amidst homeowners’ reluctance to sell, the market witnessed a rise in the number of newly constructed home sales at the start of the summer. Real estate apps Zillow Rentals and amplified their organic rankings in May, competing for share of voice for the keyword “KB Homes.” This strategy could be to captivate the interest of potential buyers looking for newly built homes. 

So if buying a house is not the right move in the current state of the market, is long-term rental the answer? Apptopia data indicates that YoY growth is down in the market across real estate rental apps. With inflation, rents still high in many markets, and less people moving, the demand for long-term rentals continues to decrease and there simply seems to be a lack of buyers on the market. 

A real estate Redfin real estate agent put it this way, “Many homeowners are deciding that instead of selling, they’re going to renovate their current home or rent it out while they wait for the market to improve.”  Because of this, home improvement apps seem to be the true winners in the current housing market. Apptopia data indicates that Lowes and Home Depot are seeing a steady increase in downloads and active users on their mobile apps since the beginning of the year.  

We additionally saw that home goods and essentials were top categories for Amazon Prime Day shoppers this July, another indicator of an increase in home improvement projects this year. These could very well be indicators that homeowners are holding out for a rebound in housing prices, with the intention of securing a greater profit once they decide to sell.

Explore Q1 2023 mobile growth
through the lens of UA Brand Efficiency.