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Northeast Hit By Declining Housing Inventory

05.06.2020

Six of the 10 metros that experienced the largest drops in new-home listings were located in the northeast, according to a new report by realtor.com

Allentown, Pennsylvania, came in at No. 1 and was followed by Milwaukee; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Detroit; Buffalo, New York; Grand Rapids, Michigan; New York; Bridgeport, Connecticut; New Haven, Connecticut; and San Francisco. 

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on March 18 issued a stay-at-home order saying all businesses that were not “life-sustaining” to close, which includes real estate. 

“It’s very restrictive,” said Joe Golant, a real estate agent with Weichert Realtors, according to realtor.com. He said he can no longer meet clients in person, visit homes, or even send a photographer out to market a new listing.

“Some homeowners have made their own arrangements for video and photography," he said. "We can’t facilitate that right now.”

Realtor.com reports the metro saw an annual drop in new listings of 80.5%. Affordability, however, has been on the rise, as the median sale price in March was just $235,000—$66,000 above the median asking price. 

The homes that are on the market are selling quickly, with days on market falling 20% in March. The median sales price rose 10.6% for the homes that did sell. 

In neighboring New York, Buffalo’s inventory fell 69.5% since March 22—the date New York’s stay-at-home order went into effect. 

Buffalo has seen the highest drop in the tri-state area, New York City, which has suffered nearly 20,000 deaths from COVID-19, experienced a 67.9% decline in new listings. 

Falling New York City, was nearby Connecticut metros Bridgeport (-67.1%) and New Haven’s (-56.3%), both are economically aligned with New York City. 

“An agent put up open house signs in mid-March, and someone posted on Nextdoor, ‘How dare these realtors show open houses in this period?” said Matt Murray, real estate salesperson with the Higgins Group.

Redfin also found that while the supply of homes priced under $250,000 saw a 34% increase between March 15 and April 20, it was still down 59% year-over-year. 

by Mike Albanese (via www.themreport.com)

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