Coming out of a Minnesota winter, spring is typically the kickoff for the prime months of home sales. But as everyone knows by now, this year is different. The latest Weekly Market Activity Report from the Minneapolis Area Realtors noted, “real estate activity is slowing down right along with the rest of the economy.”
If you’re sheltering at home, you are probably less inclined to be out shopping for a new home.
For the week ending March 28, MAR found that new listings were down 5.8 percent, pending sales were down 5.4 percent, and the inventory of homes for sale was down 7 percent. The latest numbers were out on Monday; all comparisons are to 2019.
New listings have been sliding for three weeks while pending sales have dropped for the last two weeks. While the numbers clearly show a downturn in activity, they are hardly apocalyptic. Home showings, however, have dropped sharply since mid-March. Many realtors are offering virtual property showings.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on Monday that St. Paul-based Vibe Realty has asked its realtors to hold off on in-person showings for 14 days.
Before the Covid-19 crisis hit, local home sales were in fairly good shape. The median home sales price for February was $281,570, its highest point since August 2019. The median sales price for February was up 6.1 percent compared to 2019 and up 12.6 percent from 2018. The market’s high water mark was when the median sales price hit $290,000 in June 2019.