Home Sales Saw Big Jump in February, But Slowdown is Expected
March 20, 2020
The fallout from the coronavirus is likely to impact every facet of the economy, and the housing market is no exception. The good news is that the housing market was in a good place in the weeks before the outbreak.
Sales of existing homes were up substantially in February, hitting the highest monthly pace in 13 years. Existing-home sales were up 7.2 percent for the month as compared to a year prior, the eighth consecutive annual increase.
Low unemployment and falling mortgage rates drove strong buying. Now, with unemployment surging and local governments pushing people to stay home, sales are expected to see a steep decline. a forecast from Capital Economics expects home sales for the second quarter of 2020 to be 35% down from the fourth quarter of 2019. A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors found that nearly half of the respondents had seen a decrease in buyer interest, and 16% have seen sellers in their area pull homes off the market,