Written by The Business Journal Staff
The impact of COVID-19 on existing home sales is starting to come to light.
According to a new report form the California Association of Realtors, March home sales were down compared to last year. That held mostly true in the Central Valley as well as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the country in the last half of the month.
In the Central Valley region, existing single-family home sales were up 21.5% from February to March, but down 6.4% compared to March 2019. The median sold price in the Central Valley was $350,000 last month, up 2.9% from the month prior and also up 7.7% annually.
Closed escrow sales of existing homes totaled just over 373,000 units in March in California, down 11.5% from February and 6.1% a year ago. The month-to-month drop was the first double-digit statewide loss in more than nine years, while the year-over decline was the first in nine months.
“The relatively moderate sales decrease that occurred in March is only a prelude to what we’ll see in April and May because sales were still modestly strong during the first two weeks of March before stay-in-place orders were implemented throughout the state,” said 2020 C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick, a second-generation Realtor from Bakersfield, Calif.
“However, pending sales, which is a better reflection of the current market conditions and consumer concerns about the coronavirus, dropped nearly 25 percent and suggest the decline could extend beyond the next couple of months, depending on the duration of the pandemic and the lockdown,” she added.
Sales in Fresno County were up 22.7% in March from April, but down 6.1% from a year ago. The median price was $282,500 last month, down 2.6% from February but up 1% from a year ago.
In Kings County, sales were up 11.3% last month compared to February, but were down 8.1% compared to last year. The median price was $250,000, down 2% from February, but up 7.8% from last year.
Madera’s sales were down 7.1% in March compared to February, but up 9.2% from a year ago. The median sale price was $285,000, unchanged from a month ago, but up 7.5% from a year ago.
Tulare County’s sales were up 30.6% in March compared to the month prior, but were 14.1% lower from a year ago. The median price in Tulare was $254,480, up 1% from a month ago and also up 10.6% a year ago.