Number of homes for sale and new homes listed falls nationwide in April, report finds

In response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, home sellers and buyers retreated from the market and listing prices stalled in April, Realtor.com said in a report released Tuesday. The number of homes coming on the market for the first time dropped 44.1% last month compared with April 2019.

The number of homes for sale was already low when the traditionally busy spring selling season began, as it has been for several years in most markets around the country. In the Northeast, new listings in April were down 59.4% compared with April 2019. Regionally, declines were lowest in the South at 31.4% year over year.

Many sellers took their homes off the market, which caused the total number of homes for sale in the United States to drop by 15.3% compared with April 2019. Homes took four days longer to sell last month at an average of 62 days, compared with 58 days in April 2019, a sign of hesitation from buyers.

The median listing price rose just 0.6% in April to $320,000 compared with April 2019, a decline compared to the listing price increase of 3.8% year over year in March.

In the Washington area, the number of new listings dropped by 45.7% in April compared with April 2019, and the total number of sales was down 24.1% in that same time frame. However, the median listing price still rose in the D.C. region year over year: up 4.3% to a median of $500,000 in April 2020. Homes sold in an average of 35 days in April, five days slower than in April 2019.

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