The US housing market, like others around the world, is seeing a massive decrease in transactions during the coronavirus pandemic. Though this was to be expected, the reality is humbling. In fact, the number of homes for sale in the US dropped 8.5% in March— the largest decline in sales since 2015. The National Association of Realtors predicts that once April ends, the numbers will be worse.
UrbanDigs reported that listings dropped 85% compared to the previous year and that there was a 279% increase in the number of listings taken off the market in Manhattan.
Professionals are staying hopeful in the shadow of these numbers, banking on the idea that these transactions are just on hold and that those looking to move will continue with their searches once the economy rights itself again.
This is partly why a number of agents are calling to refrain from removing listings. Though transactions and new listings have decreased, portals are reporting large waves of traffic on their sites, showing that people are still looking, though they may not be able to go through with a purchase right now.
Portals like Zillow, and its NYC channel, StreetEasy, along with Compass and others outside of the US market have turned to virtual tours, doubling the number of digital walkthroughs since mid-March. Zillow reported that its 3D home tours were saved almost 50% more frequently since the beginning of March and have since increased to 80%.
Real estate professionals are seemingly confident in the market bouncing back from the financial impact of the coronavirus. Though it’s not the hardest-hit industry, it certainly is feeling the pressure while transactions plummet and portals and agents see revenue decline. The US housing market has survived a number of struggles- professionals are sure this too, will pass.