Home Sales Fell Slightly in April, Prices Rising

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In the first full month of COVID-19 restrictions, the housing market in Kentucky slowed, but by no means did it stop.

The number of homes sold dropped 12.5 percent. While that’s significant, it’s much less than some believe it could have been. National experts have predicted an overall drop for 2020 of 10 percent, according to the Kentucky Realtors.

In Louisville, the drop from 2019 to 2020 was just 10.3 percent, with the average sales price jumping 5.6 percent to $236,368. However, the number of active listings was down 15.6 percent from a year ago.

The conclusion — low inventory brings higher prices.

Nationally, existing-home sales fell 17.8 percent, the largest drop in home sales nationally since July 2010.

“The economic lockdowns – occurring from mid-March through April in most states – have temporarily disrupted home sales.  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.” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Average sale prices in Kentucky rose 8.4 percent to $212,361. Overall sales volume dropped just 5.1 percent.

“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.”

Inventory remains a concern, as the level fell again to 3.28 months (the amount of time it would take to sell available inventory).