Pending Home Sales Plummet in April
Pending home sales is the latest sector to see record drops from the impacts of COVID-19. The Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) declined 21.8% in April. All regions saw a month-to-month and year-over-year decline in pending home sales.
"With nearly all states under stay-at-home orders in April, it is no surprise to see the markedly reduced activity in signing contracts for home purchases," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a release.
Year-over-year sales declined nearly 34% from April 2019, the largest drop since NAR began tracking transactions in January 2001. However, there are metro areas, such as: Virginia Beach, Virginia; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Odessa, Texas, that have seen increased new listings in April from a year ago. NAR forecasts home sales to decline by 11% in 2020 compared to the previous projection of 15%.
Month-over-month, pending home sales dropped nearly 50% in the Northeast, while sales in the South slipped roughly 15%. Sales in the West declined 20%, and Midwest sales sank almost 16%.
"In the coming months, buying activity will rise as states reopen and more consumers feel comfortable about homebuying in the midst of the social distancing measures," said Yun.
-Michael Miller, managing editor