How is the coronavirus pandemic impacting the housing market? [Update for the week of April 12th – 18th]

Note: The following is a follow-up post to a post I published last week reporting on the impacts that the coronavirus pandemic is having on the Reno-Sparks housing market. See Is Reno’s Housing Market Slowing Down? [April 12, 2020]

As promised, I am tracking Reno-Sparks housing market data daily and then compiling it weekly in order to provide up-to-date market metrics on a weekly basis on this blog.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, relying on monthly market reports that focus on home sales and sales price does not necessarily provide a picture of the housing market’s current state. That is because home sales and sales price are lagging indicators — as these sales went into contract 30 – 60 days prior to closing.

Looking at current weekly leading indicators, such as new pending sales, provides a more timely picture – especially in this ever-changing environment. So, let’s begin with pending sales (under contract)…

Pending Sales

In a bit of positive news, new pending sales rose for the week of April 12 – April 18 — climbing 22.8 percent from the week prior. And though an increase in pending sales is welcome news, the 113 pending home sales for the week still remains well below, 25.7 percent below, where they were for the corresponding week in 2019. See table below.

Let’s hope pending sales continue to rise.

Withdrawn Listings

As we saw in last week’s blog post, the number of listings being taken off the market by home sellers spiked during the third week of March and has remained at weekly levels two- to three-times the pre-pandemic weekly average.

For the week of April 12 – April 18, total withdrawn listings (either temporarily or indefinitely) rose to 31 — up 29 percent from the preceding week.

Back on Market Homes

As we observed in last week’s blog post, the number of under contract transactions falling out of escrow also surged during the third week of March and has remained at weekly levels four-times the pre-pandemic weekly average.

For the week of April 12 – April 18, back on market homes pulled back to 32, representing a welcomed 15.8 percent decrease from the week before. However, the weekly total is still roughly three times the pre-pandemic average.

New Listings

It is the number of new listings hitting the market where we are seeing some of the most dramatic impacts of the pandemic.

91 new listings came to market the week of April 12 – April 18. This number was not only down 18 percent from the prior week, but also is down a staggering 54 percent from where we would expect them to be during a typical spring home buying market. See the chart below.

Homes Sold

Given the trends in the metrics above (especially the decline in pending sales), it should come as no surprise that home sales would eventually be impacted. The downturn in homes began to be observed during the first week of April.

The week of April 5 – April 11 saw the number of weekly home sales down 26 percent, year-over-year. The week of April 12 – April 18 saw the number of sales down 24 percent, year-over-year. And the rate of declining home sales appears to be accelerating.

I will continue to track the metrics on daily basis and report back here weekly. In the meantime, I welcome your comments and questions below.

As always, thank you for reading. And stay safe, healthy and happy!

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