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New-Pending Home Sales, Listings Increase

pending home sales

Zillow reported [1] that newly-pending home sales fell 5.2% from the prior week. This represents a slight improvement from 7.1% weekly decline recorded during the same week in 2019. 

Monthly, newly-pending sales are up 24.5% nationally and are positive in each of the top-35 metros where data is available. 

New listings are up 19.3% from the prior month but are down 17.2% year-over-year. Total housing inventory is down 24.9% annually—marketing the biggest year-over-year drop in 2020. 

Zillow states the median list price for the month is $329,941, which is 3.1% higher than in 2019 and up 0.3% from the prior week. List prices are higher than 2019 in 29 of the 35 largest metros. 

Cincinnati reported the largest year-over-year list-price increase, growing 17.6%. Detroit’s 3.7% decline as the largest in the nation. 

In a Zillow survey of 106 economists, 41% said they think the economic recovery from COVID-19 will follow a “U” shape while 33% said it will be a multi-year return. 

Prices nationally are projected to fall 0.3% in 2020, according to the panel-wide average forecast—down from an expected increase of 3.3% just three months ago.

“This is the first time since 2012 that the panel-wide price outlook has turned negative, and the quarter-to-quarter swing in expectations is the largest we’ve seen in more than a decade,” said Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics in the Zillow survey. “Longer term, the outlook for home values nationwide is mixed—price projections for 2022 and beyond actually inched higher from levels recorded prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. However, nearly seven in ten experts now indicate that their five-year forecast has downside risk. Last quarter, fewer than four in ten panelists foresaw downside—of course, that was before the Covid-19 crisis, its economic devastation and unprecedented government response.” 

Zillow’s forecast calls for a 1.8% decline in home prices by October 2020, with prices expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by Q3 2021.