Inventory, Prices Slow As March Comes To A Close

The number of homes for sale has been lower than normal for some time now. A combination of homeowners staying in one place longer, fewer new homes being built, and increasing demand among buyers has caused for-sale inventory to lag and prices to climb higher. There was hope that those conditions would change this year. New residential construction was poised to make gains, add supply, and help moderate price increases. Then the coronavirus hit. Naturally, efforts to contain the virus will affect the housing market. But how? Well, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors’ consumer website, it’s still too soon to say but there are some early indications. For example, during the second half of March there were double digit drops in the number of newly listed homes for sale, with significant declines in areas like Phoenix, Milwaukee, and San Diego. Additionally, home prices grew at the slowest pace this year, with the median listing price just 2.5 percent higher than it was one year earlier. Still, prices continued to climb and, in some areas like Minneapolis, listings actually rose year-over-year. Overall, the data is consistent with a market slowdown, though future numbers will give a more complete look at where things stand. (source)

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