Real Estate Transactions Plunge in April Due to COVID-19

Real estate transactions of all types plunged during the month of April 2020.  On a national level existing home sales were off by 17.8% while commercial real estate transactions dropped to their lowest levels since 2010 with a decline of more than 70%. 

 

Highlights are as follows:

  • Existing single family home sales under $100,000 and over $1 million were down by more than 30%.
  • Single family residential inventory levels have declined by approximately 20% as home sellers removed properties from the market.
  • Median home prices across all housing types rose by 7.4% with gains shown in every region (98 straight months of year-over-year gains).
  • Office and industrial transactions were off by 60% (year-over-year).
  • Hotel sale transactions were virtually non-existent during April, down by 98%.
  • Commercial property prices have risen by 6.5% year-over-year.

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Commercial Office Lease Disposition

Our team assisted a corporate client with the disposition of a 6,634 square foot branch office which was no longer being used and was a drain on the company’s financial resources since the cost of the lease payments were significant.

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How is COVID-19 Impacting Home Sale Transactions? (Palm Beach County)

Although the “official” stats for the Palm Beach County housing market have yet to be published, here are the results for several local area zip codes where are data was obtained from the local multiple listing service.

The accompanying charts shows the number of housing transaction conducted for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 in six (6) featured zip codes.

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Housing Market Update for March 2020

Prior to experiencing the full economic impact of the coronavirus, the residential housing market was mixed on both a nationwide and local basis.  While prices continue to improve, there is evidence that overall activity is withering which will have a significant affect on the market in the coming months.

The National Housing Market

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sale transactions on a nationwide basis fell in March by 8.5% (month-over-month) to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million units. 

While home sales have declined, prices have remained strong with the national median home price reported to be $280,600.  This is up 8.0% from March 2019 and this increase marks 97 straight months of year-over-year gains. 

Total housing inventory was up approximately 2.7% from February 2020 to 1.5 million units. Unsold inventory equates to a 3.9-month supply at the current sales rate which is down from 4.1 months as reported for the month of September.

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The Current State of the Housing Market

Nationwide Housing

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sale transactions on a nationwide basis rose in October by 1.9% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.46 units. Year-over-year sales were up by 4.6% from 5.22 million units in October 2018.  The nationwide median existing home price across all housing types for October was $270,900, up 6.2% from October 2018.  Prices rose in all regions and this month’s price increase marks 92 straight months of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory was down approximately 2.7% from September 2019 to 1.77 million units.  Unsold inventory equates to a 3.9-month supply at the current sales rate which is down from 4.1 months as reported for the month of September.
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