March Home Sales In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb
April transactions currently tracking 33% below March postings at mid-month.
The greater Sacramento region was on pace for red-hot home sales in the first quarter and well on the path to exceed extraordinary figures set last year at this time. Then shelter-in-place orders began to appear around March 19. By month-end, health and safety correctly became the top priority while our economy and local housing market was guided into the slow zone under a caution flag. This market information was provided by Trendgraphix Inc., a Sacramento-based reporting company and presented by Lyon Real Estate.
Prior to the national health crisis, strong momentum had accrued during January and February that subsequently resulted in very respectable, first quarter metrics for greater Sacramento. Specifically, 5,086 homes closed escrow in the first quarter which was less than 1 percent fewer than those of 2019. New open escrows for the first quarter were less than 5 percent below last year’s numbers. New listings entering the market were still somewhat subdued in March until demand tapered off. This still left a pretty sparse 1.5 months of inventory available for sale heading into April.
The average sales price for homes closed in the month of March rested at $482,000. This metric was up more than 5 percent year-over-year and reflected the highest number since July. Sellers received approximately 98 percent of original list price and were on the market an average of 36 days. These metrics were aggressive and more typical of the peak selling season in late spring and early summer.
“So here we are in mid-April and the governor has designated residential real estate as an essential business,” says Pat Shea, president, Lyon Real Estate. “Best practices, CDC guidelines, new disclosures and strict precautions are in place for buyers and sellers who need to transact, and their agents. Things are still moving in the Northern California real estate space but health and economic uncertainties continue to restrict the flow.”
New open escrows and closed sales thus far for the month of April are both off approximately 33 percent compared to March. New listings are 40 percent lighter for the month while standing inventory is 20 percent lower than last year at this time. That is not the entire story though. “Many prospective buyers are standing on the sidelines waiting and watching,” adds Shea. “Many sellers have also taken their homes off the market or have delayed posting for sale until the economic green light shines bright.
“Many experts including Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, have stated in media interviews and podcasts that their expectation is that our region’s economy will bounce back more quickly and with more vigor than other parts of the state and country,” says Shea.
Shea adds: “Greater Sacramento is on the rise due to affordability, job growth, the age and education levels of our workforce and all of the new equity-based commercial projects that are in progress. Public/private collaboration and partnerships are gaining more and more momentum and will recharge in the near future. The housing market will surely bounce back with a vengeance once people start getting back to work in the next month or so.”
About TrendGraphix, Inc.
TrendGraphix, Inc. is a real estate reporting company based in Sacramento that uses local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data to provide highly visual market statistical graphs to real estate brokers, agents, and MLS/Realtor associations across the country. TrendGraphix’s programs are currently used by tens of thousands of agents in more than 250 brokerages in 48 states. For more information about TrendGraphix, visit www.trendgraphix.com.