Latest Housing Market Update

Latest Housing Market Update

Here is the latest housing market update from realtor.com. As expected COVID-19 hit the nation’s housing market hard in April. Last month’s data illustrates the real time impact of coronavirus.

According to realtor.com new listings fell almost 45 percent in April compared to last year. Typically, April is the kick-off to a robust Spring buying season.  The lack of new listings combined with sellers taking homes off the market all contributed to a new April low for inventories. “I see the pace ahead as a slow rebound for the housing market,” George Raitu, realtor.com’s senior economist.

The total number of homes for sale across the U.S. was down 15.3 percent year-over-year. April’s drop in inventory amounted to a loss of 189,000 listings compared to this time last year. “Coronavirus keeps sellers on the sidelines,” explains Raitu.

The Northeast – with some of the country’s highest Coronavirus case numbers saw the largest drop in new listings at 59.4 percent. That’s compared to declines of 49.5 percent in the Midwest, 44.1 percent in the West, and 31.4 percent in the South. Metros with the largest inventory declines were Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. (-46.1 percent); Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. (-38.7 percent); and Providence-Warwick, R.I.-Mass. (-29.3 percent). 

Looking at that key Days On Market indicator from the week ending April 24 homes on average spent nine days longer on the market compared to that same time last year. Buyers are in a wait and see holding pattern.  Listen to realtor.com’s Raitu. “It’s hard for sellers to determine pricing right now. As a result, buyers aren’t willing to pay what they would have at the beginning of the year.”

As popular as virtual home tours are for browsing it’s clear most buyers want to see and experience a home in real time. Since traditional showings and open houses remain a thing of the past right now expect to see Days on Market increases around the country.  Additionally, social distancing measures combined with stricter mortgage lending criteria potentially extend the days a property sits on the market. Consider that pending home sales dropped 20.8 percent in April from the prior month. This was the largest monthly drop since 2011.

Home prices in April started showing the impact of COVID-19. Forty-seven of the country’s largest 50 metros saw prices drop. Though those drops weren’t in double-digit territory, it’s not encouraging news. Areas with the sharpest declines were Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (-5.7 percent); Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. (-4.5 percent); and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. (-4.4 percent) for the Check back soon for more market updates.