By now, most Americans have become aware of the convenience this pandemic offers by scrolling through dreamy Zillow lists.
But if the recent Saturday Night Live sketch, which made strong comparisons between surfing Zillow and phone sex, didn’t fully confirm the nation’s compulsive obsession with Zillow, the results of a recent survey conducted by California-based insurance agency Surety First will .
Surety First surveyed more than 1,000 people why or how often they surf Zillow and what activities they might give up to allow them to surf the site.
The company found that Zillow browsers can get pretty obsessed. More than half of respondents said they spent between one and four hours browsing entries, with the majority of those people (34.5 percent) spending between one and two hours on the website.
Men spent one to four hours on Zillow 14 percent more often than women. It may not come as a surprise that people in the baby boomer demographics were less likely to be excited about the site. 86 percent responded that they spent less than an hour or no time on the website.
A significant proportion of Zillow users also use the website without any intention to buy or rent – 39 percent of respondents said they have set up between three and five Zillow notifications for homes they do not want to buy.
Americans’ Zillow habits have an important impact on other parts of their lives as well. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they missed an important deadline because of Zillow browsing. Almost as many respondents (56 percent) said they had canceled plans with friends because they rummaged through the lists.
Overall, 41 percent of respondents said their time on the website caused problems in their personal or professional life.
Most of the people who scroll through the site’s listings cited curiosity as the driving factor behind their Zillow habit. 63 percent used the site to look up the value of a friend’s house and 53 percent used it to look up their boss’s house.
But a large chunk of users only spend time on Zillow to let their imaginations run wild: 57 percent of respondents said they browse entries to dream or relax.
Surety First’s survey also found that many Zillow browsers really let their imaginations run wild: 62 percent of respondents said they browse their current homes at least $ 100,000 or more, and 64 percent even have an agent about it contacted a home that they know they can’t afford.
But dreaming doesn’t stop there – 80 percent of respondents admitted having dreamed of a house on Zillow at least once a week, 44 percent said they developed an emotional bond with a house on Zillow, and 51 percent said continue to rummage through the lists even after buying a house.
Meanwhile, the preference for Zillow scrolling over sex was largely split among respondents, with about 49 percent indicating a preference for browsing Zillow and about 51 percent indicating a preference for sex.
Because the pandemic has affected Americans’ lives in different ways over the past year, Surety First data shows that people have increasingly headed to Zillow for comfort during these troubled times.
Almost half of respondents (47.6 percent) said their Zillow scrolling habits increased over the course of the pandemic. The data also showed that this increase in Zillow browsing was most significant among Gen Z survey respondents. 59 percent of respondents said they spent more time with Zillow during the pandemic. For a population group that has both the most tech-friendly and the least strong home buying power, increased dreams of Zillow offers make sense.
With inventories at insane lows and competition fiercer than ever, more buyers can head to Zillow to fantasize about their dream home a little longer before deciding to venture into this crazy hot real estate market.
Email Lillian Dickerson