US home prices are actually still rising

The pandemic has hit both supply and demand

National /
May.May 05, 2020 01:50 PM
(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

A look at home prices and one might forget there’s a virus sending the economy into chaos.

The bottom hasn’t fallen out from under the housing market, at least not in terms of pricing, according to the Wall Street Journal. In fact, the National Association of Realtors found the national median home price rose 8 percent year-over-year in March to $280,600.

The pandemic hasn’t created the imbalance that sends prices shooting up or down. While sales fell 8.5 percent in March from February, the pandemic has also brought down supply — total listings hit a five-year-low at the end of April.

“Demand absolutely just got a kick in the gut, but at the same exact time, so did supply,” said Zillow Group senior economist Skylar Olsen.

That was seen on a smaller scale as well. Hard-hit Manhattan saw an 89 percent drop in new listings in mid-April. Multi-million dollar deals continue to close in New York, but just at a much slower pace.

Sellers haven’t yet been forced en masse to drop prices and move properties. Many are holding out, hoping that they can still cut a deal without a discount once stay-at-home orders are lifted and buyers can again see homes.

Only about 4 percent of sellers cut their prices in the week ending on April 25, compared to 5.7 percent of sellers who cut prices during the same week last year.

Overall, American homeowners are in a better financial position than they were before the last economic crisis, so fewer are expected to be forced into listing their properties. [WSJ] — Dennis Lynch


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