Number Of Houses Being Listed Tumbles

The number of new houses going on the market is plummeting as the coronavirus pandemic wears on, according to an analysis released Monday by Redfin.

The analysis found that there were fewer homes for sale in March than at any time since January 2012, when Redfin started tracking the data. New listings in March dropped 10.8 percent compared to March 2019.

“Real estate activities nearly ground to a halt in some parts of the country by the end of March, disrupted by shelter in place laws,” Redfin lead economist Taylor Marr said. “Right now, sellers need to decide if they’ll list their home for sale among all the economic uncertainty.” 

Redfin also found:

  • By the last week of March, new listings were down 36.9 percent from the same period a year earlier. As of last week, they were declining nearly 50 percent.
  • March home sales, which were only partially impacted by the coronavirus shutdowns, dropped 9.1 percent nationwide from February on a seasonally adjusted basis, the largest decline since at least January 2012.
  • Home sales also fell 1.2 percent year over year in March, the first decline in nine months, and by the last week of the month they were down 11.5 percent from the same period a year earlier.
  • The national count of active listings of homes for sale fell 13 percent year over year during March, the biggest drop since January 2013 and the seventh straight month of declines.
  • The U.S. median home sale price continued to increase, gaining 7.1 percent year over year and 3.3 percent month over month to $303,200.

“The impacts of the coronavirus hit the economy hard in mid-March, as we have been reporting in our weekly data, but it’s good to step back and take an aggregated look at the market,” Marr said. 

The markets with the biggest declines in home sales from 2019 were all in New York: Rochester (-18.5 percent), New York City (-18.3 percent) and Nassau County (-17.3 percent).

See the full report here.