The Northwest MLS tracks keybox activity for ~19 counties in western Washington, showing how may agents have opened a house for a showing each week. This is a great indicator of buyer activity in the market and a leading indicator of the pace of future sales. If showings rise, those will likely result in higher closings a few months out and vice versa.
Home tours by agents have been remarkably consistent for the past five months, with 185-195k showings per month. This is a significant drop-off from February-April 2010, where buyer traffic was being inflated by the expiration of the home buyer tax credit. While summer buyer traffic was down over the beginning of 2010, we seem to have entered a period of consistent buyer activity over the past months. As we approach the holiday season, we would anticipate this to decline, with normal seasonal trends kicking in.
As of October 3, 2010, here are the number of times that listed homes were accessed throughout western Washington. Unfortunately the statistics can’t be broken out by counties or cities, but activity within the 19 county area likely trends similarly at the city and neighborhood level as well.