Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - by Josh Branum, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
While the stock market recovered significantly in March, the effects of COVID- 19 to the economy continue to build. In just the last four weeks, more than 20 million people filed initial unemployment claims according to the United States Department of Labor, fueled by stay at home orders and a slowdown of economic activity across the country. Added to the unemployment claims from March, more than 30 million people have become unemployed since COVID-19 has become widespread in the U.S. In the face of these challenging times, real estate activity in April slowed significantly.
While the effect of COVID-19 continues to vary widely across the country, it is expected that social distancing, higher unemployment, and lower overall economic activity is likely to continue to constrain real estate activity in the near term. At the same time, the industry is adapting to the current environment by conducting business using technologies such as virtual showings and e-signing to help buyers and sellers with their housing needs in the face of these challenges.
However, there are signs that the market may be starting to turn around. For the week of May 9, Pending Sales were up + 3.9 percent (293 in 2020, 282 in 2019) over the same week last year. Of course it’s too quick to say this might be a rebound, but it is showing that real estate is definitely still happening.
For April, New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 31.8 percent to 977. Pending Sales were down 21.3 percent to 817. Inventory levels shrank 26.1 percent to 2,134 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 9.3 percent to $217,450. Days on Market was down 3.9 percent to 49 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 29.4 percent to 2.4 months.