A foot-traffic index would be “an early, early indicator” to help shed light on the conditions of a housing market since it would precede signed contracts by as many as 45 days, says Ken Fears, NAR’s manager of regional economics.
How would the index collect its data? Through SentriLock: A property-access control system, each lockbox stores how many times it has been opened to allow visitors to tour the house. That data can be used for the index to measure the percentage change in showings from one month to the next.
“Statistical tests show a strong correlation between showings and contracts,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “An increase in visits in one month tends to predate a jump in signings in the next month or two. … Of course, it also follows that if doors are opened fewer times, there are fewer resulting contracts and sales.”
The index is still in its early stages.