Richardson’s real estate market in March saw a decrease in the median sales price of homes and the number of new listings likely due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Market statistics released by the Collin County Association of Realtors last week show the median sales price of homes in Richardson decreased 4.3% from March 2019 to $312,000 in March 2020. The percent of original price received rose slightly to 98.2% or 0.2% year over year.

New listings totaled 131, a 20.1% dip from March 2019. The city also saw a 15.8% decrease in inventory, with 197 homes on the market last month.

Association President David Long said the housing market has “slowed down,” and he expects the effects of the pandemic will continue into April. Long said people who do not need to sell their homes right now are holding off on putting them on the market.

“You can show homes [virtually], and that's happening, [but] at a much reduced rate compared to what it normally would be at this time,” he said.

Richardson-based Realtor Rosie Humphrey-Donohue with Ebby Halliday said she has not seen an uptick in virtual showings in Richardson.

“I think it's a really low percentage of the people that would feel comfortable purchasing a home based on a virtual tour,” she said.

Long said in-person showings need approval from everyone involved, including agents, sellers and those looking to purchase. Potential buyers often have to sign a form stating that they do not have the coronavirus and must agree to wear a mask while in the house, he said.

“I'm sure it's hurting the industry, [but] it’s hurting all industries, not just ours,” Long said. “Under the proper conditions, people can still continue business.”

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said home sales are likely to slow down for the second quarter of 2020 because of the broad observance of stay-at-home orders throughout the country.

“Sales will pick up when the economy reopens as many potential home buyers and sellers indicate they’re still in the market or will be in a couple of months,” Yun said in a news release. “Home prices remain stable as deals continue to happen with the growing use of new technology tools.”

The National Association of Realtors’ Economic Pulse Flash Survey, which was conducted April 12-13, found 33% of Realtors reported no closing delays. The top reasons for those who saw delays were financing, appraisals and home inspections, according to the release.

The number of homes under contract in Richardson in March was 91, which represents a 23.53% decrease year over year. The average number of days those homes were on the market increased from 30 days in March 2019 to 34 days in March 2020.

Homes that sold in March were in highly-sought neighborhoods and were move-in ready, Humphrey-Donohue said. However, those holds went for between $10,000 to $15,000 below asking price.

“They are really having to be priced at or below market to move during this time,” she said.

Long believes the state’s real estate market as a whole will bounce back from the slowdown in business, much like it did when the industry saw a downturn in 2008.

“We did much better than many other parts of the country, like Nevada or parts of California and Florida,” he said. “We came out of it much stronger, so I expect we’ll see something similar here.”

While there is not as much new real estate business as before the coronavirus pandemic, Long said the Collin County Association of Realtors is still providing services to its more than 8,500 real estate agents and nearly 500 affiliates. The association’s offices are closed, but he said staff are still filling orders for signs and related items. Long also said the association is offering a host of continuing education classes.

“Realtors have to take continuing education hours to renew our licenses every two years,” Long said. “Classes are still being offered via Zoom, so the schedule is still proceeding just as it was.”