Home sales declines started to flatten in May, with 53 metro areas across the U.S. reporting an average drop of 3.9% from the previous month, according to RE/MAX’s National Housing Report.
Although the single-digit decline from the previous month is good news, home sales still lagged May of 2019 by 33.7%.
The median sales price was up 4.7% year-over-year to $272,000, but that’s down from the 5-year average increase of 5.4%.
Inventory also was down year-over-year by 25%, with only three cities reporting increases, according to the report.
“Not surprisingly, May sales were historically muted alongside increasingly pinched inventory as the full brunt of the pandemic likely manifested itself during the month,” Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc., said in a press release.
“We believe the spring selling season was largely deferred for several weeks. And, with home being the center of people’s lives this year, we could see the effect of pent-up demand play out in a significant way,” he added.
Sales took a big hit in Miami, dropping 57.9% compared to last May, and making it the third-largest decrease in year-over-year sales in the U.S.
Anthony Askowitz, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Advance Realty in Miami, noted that closings in May were transactions signed in March and April, when most people were sheltering in place.
“I don’t think we can reasonably compare to 2019 when so much is different today,” he said. “Challenges in showing properties due to hesitant sellers, tenants and condo associations refusing access have affected the average time to sell with days on the market now at 103 as opposed to last year’s 88 days on the market average.”
He said that shows properties priced according to location and condition are selling relatively quickly.
“Thanks to the use of virtual showings and closings we are doing incredibly well in an otherwise challenging situation,” he said.