HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Houston home sales fell 19.1 percent in April as the Covid-19 pandemic damaged the housing market, which had been surging in the first quarter.
Houston Association of Realtors reported 6,199 single-family homes sold in April compared to 7,666 in April of 2019.
“We were bracing for a rough report and we got it, and the numbers are likely to remain this way until more Realtors and consumers adapt to the use of virtual technology through HAR.com to safely market, tour and purchase or rent homes,” said HAR Chairman John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center.
Many would-be sellers delayed putting their home on the market because of concerns regarding the highly contagious coronavirus. In the first week of May, 2,878 homes were placed on the market, down 17.5 percent from the 3,488 new listings placed on the market in the comparable week of 2019.
Realtors have responded by holding virtual home showings.
Stewart Title Chief Economist Ted, C. Jones of Houston, predicted that second quarter homes sales would show declines of 35 percent as a result of the pandemic and full-year 2020 sales would be down 25 percent.
The Spring selling season, traditionally a juggernaut for home-selling, will be disappointing. Pending home sales were down 17.6 percent in April, indicating that May will be slow as well.
The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 2.4 percent to $251,000, the highest price ever for an April.
Townhome and condominium sales plunged 37.5 percent in April, with 376 units sold compared to 602 one year earlier.