Not surprisingly the face of the national residential real estate market has changed dramatically since the start of March. In its monthly report for March 2020, noted that the initially strong month ended on a weak note, with decreasing volumes of listings and lots of hesitant buyers.

“The month started out to be a strong Spring buying season, which is what we expected,” wrote chief economist Danielle Hale. “The impact of COVID-19 materialized in the latter half of March. Week by week, we are seeing decreases in new listings. It’s no surprise sellers who don’t have to sell right now are rethinking listing their home.”

Hale also noted there is a lot more inventory out there for buyers still looking to make a purchase in April. Although the number of homes for sale in March declined 15.7 percent year-over-year, the number of transactions fell substantially as well while properties began to sit longer on the market.

“For people that have to buy right now, they are more likely to get a good deal since there are fewer people out there,” Hale said[1].

Metro Areas with the Steepest Price Declines

Prices fell sharply in many of the nation’s hottest markets. The sharpest losses took place in:

  1. Dallas-Fort Worth/Arlington (-2.7 percent)
  2. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington (-1.4 percent)
  3. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland (-1.4 percent)

The largest declines in inventory took place in:

  1. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale (-42.2 percent)
  2. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis (-36.2 percent)
  3. San Diego-Carlsbad (-33.4 percent)

Interestingly, although the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metro area posted a decline in prices, it was the only metro area in the country to post an increase in inventory (3.6 percent).

Although the national median listing price rose 3.8 percent in March to $320,000, listing prices fell sharply in some areas of the country. The Nashville-Murfreesboro-Franklin metro area posted its largest decline in listing prices in a decade, with a loss of 24.2 percent year-over-year. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale lost the most in list prices with a decline of 42.2 percent year-over-year[2].

Are you concerned about the long-term impact of the coronavirus on the housing market? Why or why not?

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