Coronavirus dents home-buying season as new listings plummet

New York, Detroit, had Pittsburgh saw biggest slowdowns as sellers wait out the pandemic

TRD NATIONAL /
Apr.April 10, 2020 11:00 AM
New listings are down in what is usually the busiest season for home buyers. (Credit: iStock)

New listings are down in what is usually the busiest season for home buyers. (Credit: iStock)

What would normally be high season for home buying has turned into a slump as sellers across the country wait to list their homes amid the spreading coronavirus.

Listings website Zillow found that new home listings sank 27 percent this week compared to the same time last year, the Wall Street Journal reported. The spring season usually brings a frenzy of home buyers — in both 2018 and 2019, listings increased an average of 50 percent from March to April.

Listings in Detroit, Pittsburgh and New York City had the biggest declines, of 61.8 percent, 55.5 percent and 49.1 percent, respectively. In Manhattan, new listings showed signs of a slowdown in early March, when the virus was beginning to emerge there.

Despite the decline, some creative real estate agents are finding ways to work through the statewide stay-at-home orders that most of the country is now under. According to Zillow, 3-D home tours have more than quadrupled since February.

And while homes are not being listed, those on the market aren’t selling either — the inventory across the country has increased 2.5 percent since March 1. In areas like Seattle, which was among the first major cities to contend with the virus, total inventory has ballooned by nearly 38 percent. [WSJ] — Georgia Kromrei


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