With March 2020 data out on the US housing market, we can now get a somewhat clearer picture of how the coronavirus has impacted the real estate market. These are some of the coronavirus real estate updates for the US housing market 2020.
3 Coronavirus Real Estate Updates for 2020
Realtor.com released its March 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report. The report looks at the US housing market data for the month to see the impact of COVID-19 on real estate. Overall, trends point to a much-expected slowdown in the US housing market 2020.
Here are the main coronavirus real estate updates according to the report:
US Housing Inventory Dropped
The new real estate data shows that the total number of US homes for sale fell in March- a continuing trend in the US housing market. Housing inventory fell 15.7% year-over-year (YoY) across the nation last month. Compared to February 2020, which saw a YoY decline of 15.3%, inventory in March fell at a faster rate. Compared to March 2019, there were 191,000 fewer listings on the market.
At the same time, the housing inventory data also reveals a drop in buyer activity in the US housing market. Although inventory fell in March, the week-over-week decline was somewhat slower than it was at the end of February:
- Week ending March 28th: -15.2% YoY
- Week ending February 29th: -16.8% YoY
The data for newly listed homes for sale also shows a decline in March. Compared to the same time last year, there was a drop of 6.4%. Data for the week ending March 28th shows the greatest impact of the coronavirus on housing inventory. In that timeframe, newly listed homes dropped by 34% YoY. This was the largest drop in newly listed properties in the US housing market in 2020 and likely resulted from the increase in stay at home orders in many locations as well as a rising fear among home sellers who have decided to delay sales. At the same time, more and more states declared real estate as an essential business towards the end of March. We will have to see if this helps to increase the inventory in April or if the market will continue on this trajectory.
Looking at the largest 50 metros in the US, housing inventory data points to a decline of 17.1% YoY. The 5 metros that saw the largest drop in inventory were:
- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ: -42.2%
- Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI: -36.2%
- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA: -33.4%
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: -31.4%
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA.-NJ-DE-MD: -30.7%
Related: The Impact of the Coronavirus on the California Real Estate Market 2020
Only one metro area, Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, saw a 3.6% YoY rise in housing inventory.
The Median Listing Price Continued to Grow, But at a Slower Pace
One of the adjusted US housing market predictions for 2020 in the face of the coronavirus pandemic was that prices would likely continue to grow but at a slower pace. So far, this was the case for March 2020. The report shows that the median listing price increased by 3.8% YoY to $320,000. However, this was a deceleration compared to the 3.9% YoY growth in listing price in February. And the last week of March ending the 28th shows an even slower growth rate of only 2.5% YoY. This marked the slowest increase in the listing price in 2020 and since 2013. As the effects of COVID-19 are most apparent in that timeframe, this deceleration is likely due to the pandemic and changes in buyer and seller behavior.
The 50 largest US metros also saw a slowing increase in the median listing price of 5.7% YoY, a drop from the 6.5% YoY increase in February 2020. Here is how a few of these metros fared in terms of price gains in March:
- Pittsburgh, PA: +17.9%
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD: +14.0%
- Memphis, TN-MS-AR: +12.7%
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX: -2.7%
- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI: -1.4%
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland, TX: -1.4%
Even though listing prices continued to increase, some homebuyers and real estate investors who were in the market in March enjoyed price reductions. 15.4% of all active listings in the US real estate market saw a price reduction. However, this was down by 1.6% YoY. Only 6 major metros saw an increase in price reductions YoY. Those with the largest increase were:
- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA: +6.4%
- Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA: +4.4%
- Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI: +4.0%
Learn More: How the Coronavirus Will Affect US Home Prices in 2020 and Beyond
Days on Market for US Homes for Sale Increased
One of the more interesting coronavirus real estate updates according to the report was the increase in days on market (DOM). On average, homes sold in 60 days in March. This was 4 days quicker than the same time last year. So sellers who were still putting their homes up for sale during the month were closing quickly, despite the escalating situation with COVID-19.
The average DOM for the 50 largest metro areas was 47 days. Here is the DOM for March for a few of these metro areas:
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL: 86
- Pittsburgh, PA: 78
- St. Louis, MO-IL: 65
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: 24
- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO: 26
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: 29
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To stay up to date on the latest trends in the real estate market and the developing situation with COVID-19, check out Coronavirus Real Estate Trends.
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