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Housing Market Updates 


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Housing Market Updates

Jessica Evans

Jessica fell in love with D.C.’s unique neighborhoods while attending the University of Maryland...

Jessica fell in love with D.C.’s unique neighborhoods while attending the University of Maryland...

May 18 4 minutes read

Today, many people are asking themselves if they should buy or sell a home in 2020. Some have shifted their plans or put them on hold over the past couple of months, and understandably so. Everyone seems to be wondering if the market is going to change and when the economy will turn around. If you’re trying to figure out what’s going to happen and how to play your cards this year, you’re not alone.

This spring in the 2020 NAR Flash Survey: Economic Pulse, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has been tracking the behavior changes of homebuyers and sellers. In a reaction to their most recent survey, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, noted the beginnings of a turn in the market:

“After a pause, home sellers are gearing up to list their properties with the reopening of the economy…Plenty of buyers also appear ready to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and the stability that comes with these locked-in monthly payments into future years.”

What does the survey indicate about sellers?

Sellers are positioning themselves to make moves this year. More than 3 in 4 potential sellers are preparing to sell their homes once stay-at-home orders are lifted and they feel more confident, which means more homes will start to be available for interested buyers.

Recently, Zillow also reported an uptick in listings, which is great news for the health of the market:

“The number of new for-sale listings overall has shown improvement, up 5.9% last week from the previous week. New listings of the most-expensive homes…are now seeing the biggest resurgence, up 8%. The uptick is likely a sign sellers are feeling more confident because of improving buyer demand, as newly pending sales have also jumped up during the same period.”

What does the survey note about buyers?

The recent pandemic has clearly impacted buyer preferences, showing:

  • 5% of the respondents said buyers are shifting their focus from urban to suburban areas.

  • 1 in 8 Realtors report changes in desired home features, with home offices, bigger yards, and more space for their families becoming increasingly important.

  • Only 17% said buyers stopped looking due to concerns about their employment or loss of a job.

As we’ve mentioned before, buyer demand is strong right now, and many are simply waiting for more inventory to become available so they can make a move, especially as the country begins to reopen.

Additional Housing Market News from the National Association of REALTORS®

Median single-family home prices increased year over year in 96% of metro areas in the first quarter of 2020. The DC area (including MD/VA/WV) saw a 4.5% increase in home prices during this time with the median home price in this area reaching $438,900.

“The first quarter price jumps mostly reflect conditions prior to the coronavirus outbreak and show the strength of the housing demand prior to the pandemic,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Even now, due to very limited listings, home prices are showing no signs of buckling.”

Data from the NAR Weekly Housing Market Monitor shows that new listings and pending sales began to recover in May, with April 2020 appearing to be the low point in pending contracts which will correspond to May 2020 being the low for closings. A steady upturn in pending contracts is expected in May. 

Bottom Line

The housing market both locally and nationally is showing strong signs of recovery from the impacts of the pandemic. Inventory remains very low and if you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, now could be a great time to sell, there’s a good chance an eager buyer is looking for a home just like yours.

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