Zillow: new home listings are down 27% from a year ago amid the coronavirus pandemic

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New house registrations have dropped significantly, according to new data released by Zillow on Thursday.

The number of newly listed homes in the first week of April is down 27% from the same period a year ago, Zillow’s ((Z) analysis found. The decline is particularly pronounced in cities hard hit by coronavirus: new registrations on April 5 were down almost 57% year-on-year in New York, the epicenter of the US epidemic.

“It is clear that many potential home sellers are taking a wait-and-see approach as uncertainty continues to prevail,” Skylar Olsen, senior economist at Zillow, said in a statement.

The digital real estate company analyzed the lists of single-family homes, condos and cooperatives to create the report. The Zillow site compiles sales lists by agents from various sources, as well as sales lists by the owner and new constructions, on its platform.

In February, before the coronavirus epidemic took root in the United States, home values ​​were up almost 4% a year, and the growth rate was up from the previous month for the first time times in almost two years, Zillow revealed. Other economic indicators were also solid – at the time, the unemployment rate in the United States was still at an all-time low of 3.5%. All of this meant that the housing market seemed ready for a solid busy season.

But on February 28, the Centers for Disease Control recorded the first case of US coronavirus of unknown origin, and the country’s epidemic quickly proliferated. Of the. As businesses closed, cities and states made home stay orders and record numbers of people filed for unemployment, the housing market also suffered.

In 2018 and 2019, the number of new market registrations increased by 50% from March 1 to April 5. This year, the number of new registrations during this period decreased by 19%.

The effects have been more dramatic in some areas. Detroit, Pittsburgh, New York and Philadelphia posted the largest year-over-year declines in new registrations as of April 5.

New home listings were higher in only two of the metropolitan areas reviewed by Zillow: Austin, where listings increased nearly 14% from the previous year, and Atlanta, where listings increased 10%.

Another 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

“Our understanding of US economic conditions changes weekly, if not daily, and the first numbers of unemployment are striking, so it is understandable that some are reluctant to put their homes on the market,” said Olsen.

Buyers may also hesitate.

Zillow found that the total inventory of homes for sale increased 2.5% between March 1 and April 5, which the company said “indicates that homes remain on the market longer while buyers withdraw”. In Seattle, the first city in the United States to have experienced a major coronavirus epidemic, total inventory increased by almost 38% during the month because the houses are not selling.

Fewer people looking to buy new homes could be a problem for Zillow, who has made a big bet on buying and selling homes in the past two years.

But Olsen said she expects the recession to ease like the coronavirus crisis.

“It may be that this year’s busy home shopping season has been pushed back to winter when some choose to stay behind, but activity continues for those who need to buy or sell for a move or another major life event, ”said Olsen. “What is unlikely is that the majority of potential home sellers and buyers simply raise their hands and completely withdraw from the market. “

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