Central Austin home sales dip slightly in March as realtors expect coronavirus impact to show in April data

According to data from the Austin Board of Realtors, home sales in Central Austin decreased only slightly in March 2020 as compared to March 2019. (Design by Shelby Savage)
According to data from the Austin Board of Realtors, home sales in Central Austin decreased only slightly in March 2020 as compared to March 2019. (Design by Shelby Savage)

According to data from the Austin Board of Realtors, home sales in Central Austin decreased only slightly in March 2020 as compared to March 2019. (Design by Shelby Savage)

According to data released by the Austin Board of Realtors on April 16, the impact of shelter-in-place orders put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic was negligible in March.

“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.
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at jflagler@communityimpact.com


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