Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Houston Real Estate in April: Sales Down 21.6% YoY, Inventory Unchanged YoY

by Calculated Risk on 5/13/2020 12:16:00 PM

From the HAR: Houston Housing Feels COVID-19’S Sting in April

The Houston real estate market’s strong start to the new year was abruptly interrupted in April as the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak was felt across Texas and the rest of the country. Stay-at-home directives and social distancing weighed on the market as Realtors® began transitioning to virtual open houses and virtual property showings that enabled consumers to safely and conveniently market and tour homes on HAR.com....

According to the latest monthly Market Update from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), 6,199 single-family homes sold in April compared to 7,666 a year earlier, representing a 19.1 percent decline and ending a nine-month run of positive sales. ... Sales of all property types totaled 7,192, down 21.6 percent from April 2019. Total dollar volume for the month fell 20.4 percent to slightly more than $2.1 billion.

“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. “There is definitely no lack of consumer interest in real estate, as property listing views on HAR.com are up almost 60 percent from this time last year.”
...
Pending sales fell 17.6 percent due to market uncertainty, but total active listings, or the total number of available properties, were statistically unchanged at 41,151.
emphasis added
Sales in Houston set a record in 2019 and were off to a strong start in 2020. However the impact of COVID-19 (and lower oil prices) will be significant. Note that the closed sales in April were for contracts that were mostly signed in February and March.