I do love me some statistics and even though these that follow are reflective of March's home sales - meaning before the real SHTF - it still gives us some insight into how robust the housing market was leading up to that point. Why does that matter? Because it aligns with the current belief that the housing market is going to bounce back relatively quickly once the major panic surrounding COVID-19 subsides. Let's start with some...
Major Takeaways for the Pioneer Valley
- Pioneer Valley single-family home sales were up 10% from March 2019 --> March 2020
- Median price was up 9.8% year-over-year (YOY) from $205,000 to $225,000.
- Supply went down (way down, if you ask me) a whopping 35.9 percent.
- Days on market also went down, though not as dramatically - 2.3 percent.
- Mortgage rates: 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 3.45 percent for the week ending 3/29/2020 versus 4.27 percent in March 2019. Data taken from the REALTOR Association of the Pioneer Valley March 2020 Home Sales Report
So what does that all mean?
COVID-19 concerns had certainly begun before March hit. The rate of appreciation for sales price slowed, but continued to rise nonetheless. That means even during a pandemic home values are rising - a great sign for current homeowners and a good projection for buyers. If you're looking to get into the market, now is a good time while appreciation has slowed and rates are historically low.
Days on market decreased meaning the time from listing a home to the time it gets sold is shorter even than before. That plays into plans for both sellers and buyers when putting together a strategy for listing and offering.
Let's also talk about supply for a second. There has been a shortage of homes on the market for quite some time now, creating what is called a sellers market. Homeowners are able to list their homes at top dollar and because there isn't much for the many buyers who are looking, they are often getting asking price or more. This drop of 35.9 percent creates a dilemma for buyers, HOWEVER! There is a silver lining, sort of...
Many buyers have been removed from the market because of the increase in unemployment claims. If you have a steady job and good credit, you may have less competition when making a bid on a home you love. That being said, approval requirements have tightened for certain types of financing so the best thing you can do as a buyer is have a conversation with your lender if your preapproval is more than 30 days old.
Below you'll find some statistics for Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden Counties. To read the whole report, head over here.