HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Sellers stayed away from the Houston real estate market in droves in April, part of a national trend reflective of the nation’s retreat from the highly contagious Covid-19 coronavirus.
In terms of new listings, only 9,724 Houston-area houses were placed on the market in April, down 27.6 percent from the 13,434 put up for sale in April of 2019, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.
The HAR is still not advertising open houses online on HAR.com. With fear of Covid-19 high, Realtors have been showing homes virtually, reducing face-to-face contact and in-home foot traffic. Homeowners reluctance to start the home-selling process, is in line with reports from around the country.
Inventory is tight across the nation, but buyers are motivated by low mortgage rates.
“Nearly 70% of Americans have secure employment and those interested in purchasing homes are looking at the enticing mortgage rates,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “One in five potential buyers have dropped out of the market due to job loss concerns, hopes are the massive financial stimulus package can help replace a good portion of lost income until the economy steadily reopens. More home sellers are needed to relieve the acute inventory shortage.”
A significant number of home owners took their homes off the market in March as the coronavirus threat mounted in the latter part of the month.
The Houston Association of Realtors reported 1,496 listings were withdrawn from the Multiple Listing Service in March, many in the final days of the month.
On a national basis, Redfin reported 28,140 homes were pulled off the market for the week ending March 29. That was a 148 percent increase over the homes withdrawn in the comparable week of 2019.
The pandemic, combined with shocking economic fallout, derailed what had been an exceptionally strong housing market fueled by low interest rates and job growth in Houston.
At the end of April, a total of 25,457 Houston homes were on the market, down 6.1 percent from the 27,117 listed for sale in April 2019.
May 1, 2020 Realty News Report Copyright 2020