Coronavirus Affects Residential Real Estate in WA
Most sectors of the United States economy have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic in March, and the real estate market in Washington state is no different. While the numbers in January and February have been encouraging, the spring buying season came to a halt in late March with the stay at home order. While most of the data contained in Northwest Multiple Listing Service’s report is encouraging, experts are warning that we will not see the true impact of the pandemic until late April.
While the usual way of transacting real estate came to a halt in late March, the remainder of the month was quite busy. 10,291 listings were added to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service in the 23 counties surveyed by the organization. That is a 31.2% increase from February of this year. In addition, there were 23% more active listings in the NWMLS at the end of March than in February, but 22% less than in March of 2019. Supply remained limited area-wide, with only 1.4 months’ worth on average.
Unsurprisingly, pending sales slowed during March, dropping about 13% year-over-year. Only 8,880 mutually accepted offers were reported last month, a decrease from 10,261 in March of 2019. While stay-at-home orders have limited the way real estate can be transacted, brokers remain optimistic that the pandemic will not greatly affect property values. With interest rates remaining low, most experts predict that the activity is set to pick up in May and June.
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