Over the past two months of the coronavirus pandemic, my team and I have been practicing proper physical distancing, but we most certainly haven’t been socially (or professionally) distant. In my conversations with clients and friends alike, everyone wants to know “how’s the real estate market holding up?” It’s usually said with a tone of sympathy and the assumption that business has shut down. While sales have been slower than we hoped for a typical spring selling season, I’m pleased to say that buyers are still buying and sellers are still selling. The market is still moving!
Real estate sales play a huge role in the success of the economy. I believe that real estate will help the economy recover from the effects of coronavirus. People have been stuck at home for two months. It is becoming clear that having a comfortable home is more important to people now than it ever has been. I expect we will see a surge in home improvements and real estate sales.
Last month this blog noted the first signs of slowdown as a reduction in pending home sales. Only 30 days later, that indicator has already started to pick back up. In just one month, pending home sales are back up almost 10% from the prior month. Now that most of the restrictions on real estate have been lifted in Mecklenburg County, we should see pending sales continue the upward trajectory.
Additionally, prices have not been negatively impacted. In fact, the average sales price for Mecklenburg single family homes was up 9% in April over the same month last year and the median price was up 14%. This can be easily explained, because while demand has dropped temporarily because of the Stay-At-Home order, supply has also dropped because more sellers have delayed listing their homes. This balancing between supply and demand has kept prices in check. For those buyers thinking that the pandemic would bring a drop in real estate prices and a buying opportunity, I’m not sure that outcome is going to happen at least in the near term.
This week we’ll publish our monthly E-Newsletter with all the market stats comparing Mecklenburg County single family home sales for April to the prior month and the same month last year. Here’s a quick summary:
- Home sales were down 17% from last month and 19% from last year.
- Average sales price was up 7% from last month and 9% from last year.
- Median sales price was up 8% from last month and 14% from last year.
- Average price per square foot was up 3% from last month and 3% from last year.
- Average time on market was down 20% from last month and 17% from last year.
- Pending sales were up 9% from last month and down 19% from last year.
- Supply is up 12% from last month and down 24% from last year.
- Mortgage rates at 3.31% are about the same as last month and down from 4.14% last year.
- Average house payment is up 5% from last month and down 2% from last year.