Real estate sales and listings down due to COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The coronavirus pandemic’s impact has been widespread and a real estate researcher says numbers started to reflect changes in April.

Stuart Norton, research coordinator at the Alabama Center for Real Estate, says real estate sales in April dropped 9% compared to last year and that listings are down 16%. The pandemic also forced changes in the home-buying process, which has featured a heavier reliance on virtual tours.

However, it hasn’t caused sales prices to changes. Norton said inventory was tight before the pandemic and it’s tighter now as a result of it. The decrease in listings, he said, has helped prop up prices.

But there are some great opportunities for buyers right now. Mortgage rates are very favorable, Norton said, and well-qualified buyers can get a good rate. Norton said a lot of people have cashed in on this by refinancing their homes.

The reopening of Alabama could benefit both sides going forward. Norton said it appears that had a positive impact on the real estate market in Georgia, which reopened earlier than many other states. He said he’s optimistic that reopening the state will stimulate both demand and supply.

“(It’s) very likely that when conditions improve, we’ll see a wave of activity on both sides – buyer demand and people wanting to put their home up for sale,” Norton said.


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