As the Capital Region marked its paces through New York on Pause to New York Forward, real estate shows signs of initial recovery. Continued mortgage rates at or below 3.3 percent and the welcomed activity of Phases 2 and 3 are enabling buyers and sellers to return to what was a busy market in the first quarter of 2020.
Though the effects of COVID-19 in the macroeconomy continue, Capital Region real estate transactions have picked up. GCAR President, Tom McGroder, of Thomas J. Real Estate, commented that “With REALTORS® experiencing a high level of buyer interest, transaction safety remains a top-of-mind priority. REALTORS® are using live streams for open houses, virtual tour tools, and observance of prescribed social distancing for in-person appointments.”
Mortgage rates remaining at or below 3.3 percent over the past four weeks and the move into Phases 2 and 3 of reopening are expected to favorably impact the month over month activity. May’s reported closed sales came in at 749, 35% lower than May 2019.
Still under New York Pause in May, the Capital Region’s Pending Sales decreased by 23 percent to 1,026 in a year over year comparison. Also impacted, were the number of new listings which decreased by nearly 39 percent to 1,368 in May.
Exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, inventory continues to skim along at historic lows with a decrease of 28 percent to 4,100 units over May 2019 causing the month’s supply of inventory to report in at 4 months; a nearly 23 percent decline over last May.
Sellers received 96 percent of the original list price last month causing the median sale price to increase by 8.6 percent to 235,000. Throughout the Capital Region, more than 8,000 showings occurred over the first two weeks of June. Laura Burns, GCAR CEO, said, “It’s evident that as a result of the improved COVID-19 numbers and more relaxed policies, buyers have returned to the market in full force. Builders back on the job sites will help the low inventory in the coming months, but right now the market could use motivated sellers to jump in. ”