Kentucky realtors: effects of COVID-19 not as bad as expected

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Kentucky realtors say the effects of COVID-19 on the Kentucky housing market were not as terrible as expected.

According to the association, there was a 12.5 percent drop in houses sold in April. There were 3,748 closings in April 2020 as compared to 4,281 in April 2019.

The realtors say experts have been predicting a dip in sales nationwide of about 10 percent.

Nationwide, existing-home sales were at 17.8% in March. They fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.33 million in April, according to the realtors.

Overall, sales decreased year-over-year, down 17.2% from a year ago (5.23 million in April 2019). April’s decline in existing-home sales is the largest month-over-month drop since July 2010 (-22.5%), according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

“The economic lockdowns – occurring from mid-March through April in most states – have temporarily disrupted home sales,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “But the listings that are on the market are still attracting buyers and boosting home prices. Record-low mortgage rates are likely to remain in place for the rest of the year and will be the key factor driving housing demand as state economies steadily reopen,” Yun said. “Still, more listings and increased home construction will be needed to tame price growth.”

 

Kentucky Realtors say coronavirus didn’t decrease sale prices. The average sale price of homes in Kentucky surged 8.4% to $212,361 (up from $195,994 in April 2019).

Realtors also say sales volume was only down only 5.1%. It reached $839 million in April 2019, but dipped to about $796 million in April 2020. 

 

“Buyers have not relaxed much during the pandemic shutdowns and the demand remains”, said Lester T. Sanders, President of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Some sellers have been cautious and waited to list homes. But, creative strategies, such as distancing, sanitizing, and virtual showings have allowed Kentuckians to keep homes on the market and still get top dollar.”

 

Kentucky Realtors say there continues to be fewer homes available for sale with the inventory level falling to 3.28 months from 3.48 in April 2019. The association considers a 6-month supply ideal.

 

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