According to Liz Dominguez, senior online editor writing for RISMedia and sourcing from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), April marked two consecutive months of the decline in pending home sales. There was a decline in every major market and year over year pending home sales were down 33.8 percent and decreasing 21.8 percent from March. NAR reported this to be the biggest decline in pending home sales since tracking began in 2001. The good news is this may be the bottom and that the market may bounce back soon.
“With nearly all states under stay-at-home orders in April, it is no surprise to see the markedly reduced activity in signing contracts for home purchase,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “While coronavirus mitigation efforts have disrupted contract signings, the real estate industry is ‘hot’ in affordable price points with the wide prevalence of bidding wars for the limited inventory. In the coming months, buying activity will rise as states reopen and more consumers feel comfortable about home-buying in the midst of the social distancing measures.”
“Given the surprising resiliency of the housing market in the midst of the pandemic, the outlook for the remainder of the year has been upgraded for both home sales and prices, with home sales to decline by only 11 percent in 2020 with the median home price projected to increase by 4 percent,” Yun added. ‘In the prior forecast, sales were expected to fall by 15 percent and there was no increase in home price.”
Realtor.com’s Weekly Housing Trends Report also points to a rebound. For the week ending May 23, listings were still down, but only by 20 percent as sellers are making a return to the market. Median listings prices have regained momentum, with growth approaching pre-COVID levels, increasing 3.1 percent year over year. Due to inventory constraints, time on market is still slow down by 16 days year over year. Realtor.com predicts it will take a few more weeks before days on market reaches normal levels.