“Declines in listing activity and pending residential sales in March indicate that we won’t be able to see the true impact of COVID-19 on the housing market until our April report,” ABoR President Romeo Manzanilla said in a media release.
While residential home sales in Austin remained nearly unchanged year-over-year in March, at 985, new listings dipped significantly, indicating the changes to come, according to ABoR.
ABoR data shows new listings decreased by 12.7% in the metro area, active listings dropped by 26.6% and pending sales went down by 19.2%.
In Central Austin, year-over-year sales in March were down only slightly, with 326 sales in March 2020, representing just a 1.5% drop from March 2019. Through the first three months of 2020, sales are up 1.9% as compared to the same time period of last year. The median price of home sales in Central Austin from January through March 2020 is $539,450.
Realtors in the area have gotten creative to show homes while adhering to social distancing requirements, relying on digital workarounds to show properties.
Lea Holubec, senior vice president of education and training for Heritage Title of Austin, said different approaches to showing a home should prepare homebuyers for a closing process that takes longer than usual.
However, those measures have not caused selling activity to dip. According to Manzanilla, that means sellers should remain “cautiously optimistic.”
“Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we’re still in a seller’s market, and sellers should be encouraged to list their homes,” he said in a media release.