A Housing Market Unlike Any Other

A Housing Market Unlike Any Other

New listings plunged in April in Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties, as COVID-19 continued to affect the housing market. Not only were new listings down compared with the previous month, but they were down dramatically when compared with April of last year.

The number of new sales also fell, but not as precipitously, while average sale prices rose substantially in all three counties.

New Listings Plummet

As the following numbers show, the percentage drop in new listings in April 2020 compared with April 2019 is dramatic:

Bucks County    - 69.78%
Montgomery County    - 68.30%
Chester County    - 64.61%

Number of Sales Falls

The percentage drop in the number of sales during April 2020 compared with April 2019 is not as stark but is still large:

Bucks County    - 29.21%
Montgomery County     - 31.12%
Chester County    - 23.27%

Average Sale Prices Rise Significantly

In April, average sale prices continued the upward trend we saw in March and are considerably higher than during the same period last year. Here are the percentage increases in average sale prices in April 2020 compared with April 2019:

Bucks County    + 11.33%
Montgomery County:    + 12.67%
Chester County   + 12.84%

April sale prices probably reflect some agreements signed in March and February, when COVID-19 was affecting the market to a lesser degree.

Going Forward

PA’s economy has been hit hard by COVID-19, with 1. 5 million unemployment claims filed in the state as of April 23, according to CNBC. Interest rates are still low, which typically favors a strong housing market, but high unemployment tends to reduce the demand for housing. There is no precedent for current market conditions.

Recently, some sellers have listed their homes with the understanding that they can be viewed only virtually, with no in-person showings until the governor lifts the stay-at-home order. Others have decided to wait until conditions improve. Governor Wolf has indicated that the stay-at-home order will be lifted on a regional basis, depending on the level of improvement in new COVID-19 cases in each part of the state. Separate from the phased re-opening, the governor has allowed construction work to begin as of May 1.

Housing statistics from BrightMLS as of 5/1/20.

Read more of Annette’s real estate articles for the latest real estate advice.

If you’re planning to buy or sell a home, contact Annette Nelson at (610) 247-7892 or annette@preferredhomes.com

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