Home sales across the United States are down, according to the National Association of Realtors®, which released a report citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a major cause for the decline.
“Existing-home sales dropped in April, continuing what is now a two-month skid in sales brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). “Each of the four major regions experienced a decline in month-over-month and year-over-year sales, with the West seeing the greatest dip in both categories.”
The NAR report highlights two factors for home sellers and buyers: 1. Sales are down; 2. Prices are up. Because inventory is down, the NAR data reveals sellers are raising asking prices.
NAR Release Highlights
• April’s existing-home sales are at the lowest level since July 2010 (3.45 million) and the largest month-over-month drop since July 2010 (-22.5%).
• Median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $286,800, up 7.4% from April 2019 ($267,000), as prices increased in every region.
• Properties typically remained on the market for 27 days in April, seasonally down from 29 days in March, but up from 24 days in April 2019.
• First-time buyers accounted for 36% of sales in April, up from 34% in March 2020 and 32% in April 2019.
• Individual investors or second-home buyers, who account for many cash sales, purchased 10% of homes in April, down from 13% in March 2020 and from 16% in April 2019.
• The hottest metro areas in April were Colorado Springs; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Topeka, Kan.; Pueblo, Colo.; and Columbus, Ohio.
Northeast: April 2020 existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 16.9%, recording an annual rate of 540,000 homes, an 18.2% decrease from a year ago. The median listing price in the Northeast was $312,500, up 8.7% from April 2019.
Midwest: Existing-home sales decreased 12.0% in the Midwest to an annual rate of 1.10 million homes, down 8.3% from a year ago. The median listing price in the Midwest was $229,200, a 9.3% increase from April 2019.
South: Existing-home sales in the South dropped 17.9% to an annual rate of 1.88 million homes in April, down 16.8% from the same time one year ago. The median listing price in the South was $249,400, a 6.4% increase from a year ago.
West: Existing-home sales in the West fell 25.0% to an annual rate of 810,000 homes in April, a 27.0% decline from a year ago. The median listing price in the West was $419,300, up 6.1% from April 2019.