While several businesses have taken a hit with the pandemic, the real estate market is seeing a decrease in home-buying interest both locally and nationally. The overall March sales results were clearly driven by the first two weeks of the month. There were 4,643 sales reported in the pre-COVID-19 period, accounting for 58% of total transactions and representing a 49% increase compared to the first 14 days of March 2019. There were 3,369 sales reported during the postCOVID-period – down by 15.9 percent compared to the same period in March 2019.
For March as a whole, new listings were up by 3% year-over-year to 14,424. However, similar to sales, new listings dropped on a year-over-year basis during the second half of the month (beginning March 15) by 18.4%. The average selling price for March 2020 was $902,680 – up 14.5 percent compared to March 2019. The average selling price for sales reported between March 15 and March 31, was $862,563 – down from the first half of March 2020, but still up by 10.5 percent compared to the same period in 2019.
This price decline may also be due to the types of homes that are now selling. A closer look at the data reveals that there are more lower-priced homes and condos (and fewer luxury properties) selling today than a month ago, which is pulling down the average home price.
In the weeks leading to mid-March, the real estate market was overheating with buyers competing for properties and driving up prices. But now buyers are hitting pause on their home search because of the current public health advice to stay at home. A lower number of buyers means fewer sales of homes are happening. As the pandemic continues, it’s become clear that transitioning into the digital and virtual spaces have become critical for those working in the real estate industry to succeed. Not to mention that because of the state of the market, agents need to be more creative than they’ve ever been to have their listings stay relevant.
We are a human touch business and agents are doing a tremendous job to distance themselves and maintain their business as best they can without the human touch aspect. It’s an unprecedented time for both buyers and sellers.