Real Estate

More good news for May: newly pending sales up almost 50% from same period in April

Inventory has also hit new lows

In the week ending May 10, newly pending sales nationwide were up almost 50% from the same period in April, according to Zillow’s April 2020 Market Report.

And in four large metros — Cleveland, Cincinnati, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth, newly pending sales were up from the same time last year.

Does this mean that we’ve seen the worst of the COVID-19 effect on housing, and that it will rebound in May and the summer months? The jury is still out on that prediction, and of course, it depends on what happens next. But there are some bright spots.

New for-sale listings are up 12.5% month over month after the seven days ending on May 10, but year over year they were still down 27.6%.

Overall, while home listings continue to bounce back, inventory still remains about 20% below last year’s already low levels.

Home values continued their upward trajectory in April, with the typical U.S. home value growing 4.3% year over year to $250,492.

Also, the pace of yearly U.S. home value growth has accelerated every month this year, after having slowed down for 20 consecutive months beginning in spring 2018, Zillow said.

In April, the annual home value growth was fastest in Phoenix, +8.9%; Seattle, 7%; and Charlotte, 6.2%. Meanwhile, annual growth was slowest in Chicago, 1%; New York, 1.2%; and Baltimore, 1.2%.

Now, the average home in the U.S. is worth more than $250,000, up 4.3% year over year, Zillow said.

Despite some purchase market momentum, the situation for rentals was less rosy.

Annual rent growth slowed down by half a percentage point in April from March, the largest monthly drop Zillow has seen in at least five years.

After having 3.4% rent growth in March, rent grew less in April, at 2.9%. This was in 16 major markets, Zillow said.

In April, the typical monthly rent in the U.S. was $1,594, up 2.9% from a year ago, but still, the slowest annual growth pace recorded since December 2017.

In 33 of the 35 largest metros in the U.S., year over year rent growth slowed in April from March.

Annual rent growth in April was the slowest in Baltimore, +0.4% year over year; New York, 1.1%; Houston, 1.3%; and San Jose, 1.3%. Meanwhile, annual rent growth was fastest in April in Phoenix, 7%; Seattle, 4.7%; and Cincinnati, 4.6%.

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