Housing Market doing well despite COVID-19

Robin Bradshaw

The local real estate business seems to be doing well despite the COVID-19 economic concerns. Local Realtor Cynthia Carrasco has been busy selling houses due to the lower mortgage rates “My clients have been mainly people looking to house up with the current market rates but not any first time buyers, ” said Carrasco.

Despite massive layoffs across the state, housing demand remained healthy as Texas’ average days on market extended a year-long downward trend, sinking to 57 days, noted by information gathered from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center.

Some of this resiliency may reflect disproportionate job losses occurring at the lower-end of the earnings spectrum which primarily consists of renter households.

With COVID-19 impacts well underway, total housing sales dropped 17.6 percent in April to their lowest level since 2015, decreasing in every price cohort, noted by Texas A&M Real Estate Center. Homes priced less than $300,000, however, accounted for two-thirds of the decline, corresponding to the sales. Texas sales decelerated from a double-digit pace in the first two months of the year relative to the same period in 2019 to just a 1.5 percent clip when comparing the first four months of the year.

The state’s supply of active listings fell to its lowest level year to date, offsetting plummeting sales and pulling Texas’ months of inventory down to 3.4 months. A total of months of inventory around six months is considered a balanced housing market. Inventory for homes priced less than 300,000 where four-fifths of total sales take place slid to 2.7 months. On the other hand, luxury home inventory consisting of homes priced more than 500,000 ticked up for the first time in eight months as falling sales outweighed a decline in the supply of active listings.

Despite falling sales, the overall market has remained relatively tight and in short supply.