April is typically prime time for real estate—the spring market is in full swing and buyers and sellers are out in full force. Not this year. 

Due to the spread of COVID-19, real estate practitioners have had to adjust how they do business to continue helping buyers and sellers who are transacting during this changed market. But how much has actually changed? The new April Monthly Housing Trends Report from realtor.com® sheds some light on the impact the pandemic has had on today’s housing market. The results show that many sellers have decided to wait out the crisis.

The biggest indicator the markets have shifted? Listings are down, and by a significant amount—April saw a 44.1 percent decline in newly listed homes. Local trends also reflect the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus. The Northeast, for example, which currently has some of the strictest coronavirus guidelines in place, also experienced the biggest drop in new listings by region, at 59.4 percent. Next up is the Midwest, which had a 49.5 percent decline, followed by the West (a 44.1 percent drop) and the South with a 31.4 percent decrease. 

 

The Milwaukee and Detroit Metro areas saw the biggest declines in new home listings—90 percent and 75.3 percent YoY, respectively. Restrictions in place at the local level may be putting a pause on the markets. 

“We’re a little hand-tied here in Michigan because real estate is deemed non-essential. We can do business virtually, but a buyer couldn’t see a house if they wanted to, said Jeff Glover, founder, Live Unreal Inc. Family of Companies, in an RISMedia interview.

Showing much less impact are Virginia Beach (15 percent), Nashville (16.1 percent), and Minneapolis (18.3 percent) Metro areas. 

Along with sellers waiting to list, many also chose to take their homes off the market, pushing home sales in the U.S. down 15.3 percent YoY. In terms of inventory, April’s dip accounts for about 189,000 listings less than what was available on the market last year at this time

 Coronavirus affects real estate