As I noted in earlier blog posts, the rate of new listings and sales through the end of March showed signs of slowing toward the end of the month, but it was early into the stay-at-home order and we had just begun what we anticipated to be a very robust spring season. Many listings were already in the process of becoming ready for market and there were transactions in process, so it was not too surprising that March remained strong despite the virtual shutdown of consumer activity mid-month.
How we would fare into April was a complete crap shoot, though, and most thought we’d looking at a dismal slowing going into April. However, the numbers are reflecting there’s still a good deal of activity in San Diego County.
Just prior to the City of San Diego and California shelter in place initiatives, the inventory was at about 4,100 active listings. As of yesterday, there are approximately 4,800 available listings available for sale in San Diego County, according to statistics shared during a live report yesterday hosted by the San Diego Association of Realtors. The fact that we have 700 more homes on the market now than in mid-March, indicates sellers are willing to bring their homes to market despite challenges of the health crisis.
Pending listings remain below early March levels, down approximately 39%. Access to view properties of interest are a contributing factor since some sellers and tenants are simply not allowing showings. Many buyers are unwilling to place offers sight-unseen, so you can see how this might create an issue.
In a “normal” environment (pre-coronavirus) we would have 500-600 closings per week. We are currently looking at about 420 per week. While the number of closings are down, this is a surprisingly good absorption rate considering the circumstances.
Year-to-date 2020 closings compared to the same period last year are virtually flush, with 2020 sales up by 10 units, primarily due to a strong market in January and February.
Bottom line, at least for now, is buyers may have a slight edge compared to earlier in the year. Sellers who ventured onto the market despite COVID-19 are finding the market to be active, and strategically priced properties are selling quickly with multiple offers.
Going forward into May, I would suspect 2020 year-to-date sales will soon lag compared to 2019, but we will continue to see steady activity. We have a strong pent-up demand and we are going to have a heck of a rebound when buyers and sellers feel more secure.
And that’s my opening to say, please stay vigilant with social distancing and safe practices. Flattening the curve is a start, but we don’t want a resurgence in the fall.
Stay safe, and reach out if you have questions about buying or selling in the current environment.