By Kerry Smith
April new U.S. listings on realtor.com fell 44.1% – but in Jacksonville, only 19.4%. Both Orlando and Tampa metros had drops around 33%; only S. Fla. saw bigger declines.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Many U.S. sellers decided to hold off as the COVID-19 pandemic grew in April, and realtor.com reports that its number of new listings was down 44.1% for the month – but only one Florida metro area was higher than the U.S. average.
In Jacksonville, the number of new listings fell only 19.4% year-to-year in April. In a list of the top 50 biggest U.S. metro areas, Jacksonville ranked No. 47 – only three other metro areas saw less of a decline – with No. 50 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia, ranking last with a 15.0% year-to-year decline.
The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area came in at No. 38 in realtor.com’s top 50 list, with a year-to-year new-listing decline of only 33.1%. And at No. 35, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area had a 34.1% year-to-year decline.
Only South Florida (Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area) had a year-to-year April decline in new listings that was greater than the U.S. average, though at No. 15, 14 other U.S. metros still had even greater drops. In South Florida, the number of listings on realtor.com was down 50%. In No. 1 ranked Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, new listings fell 80%.
The April realtor.com report is the first month of data to show the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on residential real estate listings throughout the U.S. In the Northeast – the region hit hardest by the pandemic – new listings fell 59.4%. It was followed by declines of 49.5% in the Midwest, 44.1% in the West and 31.4% in the South.
“The good momentum we saw at the start of the year has helped to somewhat insulate the housing market from the coronavirus’ negative impact on buyer and seller confidence across the U.S.,” says realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “Although we saw sharp drops in new listings, an increase in the time it takes to sell a home and a flattening of prices in April, May is likely to see some of these metrics worsen.”
However, the drop may be a temporary speedbump as sellers hold off listing their home during the height of the pandemic.
“Just how significantly the housing market is impacted by the pandemic will depend on how effective the country is at containing the virus and how the economy responds,” says Hale. “If all goes well, we could see buyers returning to the market aggressively this summer to make up for the spring they lost.”
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