The official April 2020 Florida Housing Report was released on May 21, 2020. This month’s report reflects the first full month of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Southwest Florida.
Florida Housing Report Overview
As the March new pending sales suggested, we took a hard hit in April to no one’s surprise. While the month reflected greater sales than March of last year, it did reflect a -20.7% decline since April of last year. April’s performance was very comparable to the market results of Hurricane Irma whose impact resulted in a -20.4% decline. Currently, the largest impact was felt in the townhouse-condo market which fell -36.5%.
Cumulatively, cash buyers had the largest sales decline in both single-family homes and townhouse-condos. This is an expected outcome as the majority of cash buyers typically pull cash from stocks and investments which were very volatile during this time.
2020 April Florida Housing Reports available for download HERE.
On the other hand, buyers in need of financing are experiencing record-low mortgage rates. As the economy gets back to work, expect more buyers to take advantage while they can. The low rates will encourage on the fence buyers once concerned over affordability.
The current inventory levels pair up with the demand hence the growth in median home prices. However, this sudden new demand could put us back quickly into a housing shortage driving us into a seller’s market once again.This pandemic may be an extreme case, but now more than ever, the guidance of a Full-Time REALTOR who studies the market on a daily basis is worth their weight in GOLD!~Michelle Richard – Broker/Owner Click To Tweet
During this uncertainty, home pricing remained strong as projected. The median home values of both the single-family and townhouse-condo markets both grew significantly over the month with +6.0% and +7.7% respectively.
What will the May housing market look like when the dust settles?
So far as we review the trending numbers week by week in April, we may be able to pull off an increase over May of last year. The earlier weeks of April did not look promising, but as the weeks past and economies returned to work, you could see the impact on the housing numbers. This quick rebound is a good sign and we remain cautiously optimistic to getting back to business as usual.Looking ahead to May, all indications are that we will continue to see stable prices but will see a further decline in closed sales.~Brad O'Connor – Chief Economist Florida Realtors Click To Tweet
This trend in the housing market is consistent with many markets across the United States. In fact, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has reported a significant increase in loan applications over the past four weeks. The month of May overall is still questionable, but we may chalk it up as the transition month. The trending numbers as a whole paint a much brighter picture.
Another promising sign was the inventory growth as it was minimal in the early weeks of April followed by noteworthy growth as the month ended. The growing inventory and pending sales all lead to a better housing market in the near future.
April 2020 National Housing Statistics
- Closed Sales 4.33M decreased -17.8% over last month and down -17.2% over April of last year.
- Median Sales Price $286,800 increased +7.4% over last year.
- Housing inventory levels 4.1 months of supply vs 4.2 months in April 2019
In related real estate industry news…
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- Should I buy a home or continue to rent? [Video]
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