Lakeside Title Nationwide Survey: The Impact of COVID 19 on the Housing Markets

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Data from March of 2020 reveals a 15.7 percent reduction in the national housing inventory year-over-year. Median list prices are up 3.8 percent. Large-market inventory is down by 17.1 percent. Homes are selling in about 60 days.

According to’s national U.S. housing data, the real estate market seemed to be slowing down during the second half of March. Inventory softened. Newly-listed properties and prices went down compared to the first half of the month. These numbers may or may not reflect the impact of COVID-19 on the spring home-buying market.

By the end of March, there was a decline in the number of homes available nationally. Inventory was down by 15.7 percent year-over-year compared to 15.3 percent in February. March revealed a year-over-year decline of 15.2 percent compared to a decline of 16.8 in February. When contrasted with data from last year, it adds up to 191,000 fewer home listings.

New March property listings were down by 6.4 percent over last March. Newly listed property volume in March decreased by 34 percent year-over-year. That makes it the biggest decline in 2020 so far. The reduction of newly listed properties could reflect COVID-19 restrictions. Sellers may be holding off until the situation eases up.

March saw a housing inventory decline of 17.1 percent year-over-year in the 50 largest U.S. metros. The highest inventory declines were in the Phoenix, AZ, Milwaukee, WI, and San Diego, CA, metro markets. Meanwhile, housing inventory in Minneapolis, MN, has increased by 3.6 percent.

As of March, U.S. homes were selling in about 60 days. Last March, they were selling in about 64 days.

Homes in the largest 50 U.S. metros are selling in 47 days. Properties in Miami, FL, Pittsburgh, PA, and St. Louis, MO, are taking more time. They’re selling in 86, 78 and 65 days each. Homes in the San Jose, CA, Denver, CO, and Washington, D.C., metro areas are selling in 24, 26, and 29 days respectively.

Median March U.S. listing prices rose to $320,000. That’s a 3.8 percent increase from February when median listing prices increased by 3.9 percent over the year. Median U.S. listing prices for March grew by 2.5 percent year-over-year. That’s the slowest market growth since 2013.

Reduced gains may reflect economic uncertainty, COVID-19 restrictions or buyer and seller reluctance. Larger metro listing prices were up by 5.7 percent in March over 2019. That was a 0.8 percent drop from the 6.5 percent year-over-year gains seen last month.

Forty-five of the 50 largest U.S. metros experienced a year-over-year gain in median listing prices in March. Pittsburgh, PA, Philadelphia, PA, and Memphis, TN, experienced the highest year-over-year median list price growth.

The most notable declines occurred in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, and Houston, TX, where losses were 2.7 percent, 1.4 percent and 1.4 percent respectively.

Active March listing prices fell by 15.4 percent. Compared to last year, only six of the largest national markets experienced an increased share of price reductions. Portland, OR, experienced a 6.4 percent share in March. Next was Sacramento, CA, with an increase of 4.4 percent followed by Milwaukee, WI, with an increase of 4.0 percent.

Whether COVID-19 is affecting these numbers is open to interpretation, but time will tell!

If you have any questions regarding the issues cited above, have questions about Maryland Title Insurance, please reach out to us today. We are happy to offer you our guidance!!!


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