Key Highlights

  • States reopening slowly and buyers coming to buy
  • Sellers not selling and pulling listings

Buyers were ready, willing and able for the week ending May 2 but realtor.com indicated that total listings were down -19% annually and new listings were down -39%. No wonder the country’s homebuilders are seeing such an uptick in demand. Buyers are wanting to buy and they’re especially wanting to buy “clean,” COVID-free new homes.

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Homebuilders tend to build a bit outside urban areas and suburbs and exurbs are where people are looking. How do we know? Home search sites tell us.

People may not be buying in force BUT many, many potential buyers have been shopping online since shelter-in-place restrictions became effective in mid-March. Compass, for example, saw its listings going under contract on April 12 plummet by -40%. The week later, its average number of contracts recovered and by the end of April, signed contracts came in +24% than prior to the shutdown.

Real estate agents are accommodating potential buyers with virtual technology. “Live” showings, showings whereby the agent stays and walks outside the house while the potential buyer watches and asks questions over a smartphone or tablet. Other agents are offering solo showings of empty homes…agents give buyers a code to open the lock box and they view the houses on their own.

Slowly…home buying is returning. Home selling, on the other hand, is just taking a bit longer as they wait to see how much the economic ground underneath their feet shifts.

Thanks to CNBC’s Diana Olick.

Also read: Elliman Challenges StreetEasy’s (Zillow’s) Latest Move to Manual Listings Entry, Make Content King, How Many New Homes Needed to “Fix” Housing Shortage?