Those who tuned in for our previous market update know that, despite the craziness of the health crisis, things remained relatively unchanged across the Arizona and Texas markets during March, while San Diego saw a little slowdown since it was the first of our markets to experience serious lockdown restrictions.
Now, as we examine market performance for April 2020—the month in which all three markets went into full ‘lockdown mode,’ if you will—some really interesting trends emerge.
Besides that, things haven’t changed much in real estate; buyers are still partaking in virtual showings, and sellers are still offering virtual tours. Ultimately, the people that need to sell and the people that have a strong desire to buy are figuring out ways to get deals done. This is evidenced by the several thousand homes that sold last month across all markets: Tucson saw 1,168 closings; San Diego saw over 2,000, and Austin saw a whopping 2,700. Granted, these numbers are off by 20% to 30% year over year, but consider that inventory has also been greatly reduced in all three markets year over year.
“The world is opening back up slowly and we’re seeing massive surges of buyer activity.”
When inventory shrinks by 11%, 12%, or even 30% (as was the case in our markets), you’d expect closings to follow suit. Pending listings in Tucson in April 2020 were only off by 11% year over year, but San Diego’s pending listings were off by 41%, making it the worst affected market of the three we serve. Meanwhile, in Austin, adventurous Texans’ activity in the market led to an actual rise in pending listings year over year!
So, again, here are three takeaways from April: People are buying homes, there are fewer homes on the market, and they’re selling at higher prices than ever before.
Now, we know that real estate is often a lagging indicator; it’s generally accepted that the housing market is ‘behind’ what’s happening in the rest of the world by six to eight months, so only time will tell what’s in store. That being said, the short-term impact we’re experiencing now is that buyers have even fewer options on the market than just a few months ago when inventory was already very low.
Moreover, time on market has been reduced during the pandemic, which means that the best houses have been selling incredibly fast. The world is opening back up slowly and we’re seeing massive surges of buyer activity; it’s mid-May and our team has already sold 20 homes this month. Everybody’s been locked in their house with ample time to imagine their next home, and internet traffic and virtual showings are through the roof. Again, this demand is coming at a time when there are even fewer listings than ever before.
If you’re a seller, our message is simple: This is the time; list your home now to get your chips off the table and nab top dollar.
As always, reach out by phone or email if you have any questions or concerns about the pandemic’s effect on the housing market or are ready to purchase or sell a house. We’re here to be a resource for you and look forward to hearing how we can help.