Shelter-in-place caused steep drops in activity across the board in what is typically the busiest selling season of the year. However, though still far below normal levels, activity has been slowly picking up since bottoming out in late March/early April, and will presumably continue to do so with the easing of both shelter-in-place and property-showing rules.
So far, median house prices have seen no declines – in fact, quite the contrary – but a fair proportion of the sales behind the April median sales price still reflects offers accepted prior to shelter in place.
Interest rates hit a new historic low in the last week of April.
Week by Week Supply & Demand Trends
The only way to clearly perceive the recent changes in the market – sudden plunge and the beginning of recovery – is by looking at WEEKLY trends in buyer and seller activity. These are illustrated in this first chart below.
Year-over-Year Changes in Median House Sales Price
Generally speaking, the first months of 2020 have been characterized by year-over-year increases, sometimes quite substantial, in median house sales prices across the Bay Area. (Median condo sales prices in Santa Clara County – not illustrated below – have dropped somewhat on a year-over-year basis.)
Medium-Term Monthly Median House Sales Price
Long-Term Trends in Median House Prices – 12-Month Rolling Illustration
Monthly Supply & Demand, Year-over-Year Comparisons
The next series of charts reflects the dramatic changes in seller and buyer dynamics by MONTH as compared to spring 2019. These don’t illustrate the uptick in activity in the most recent weeks.
Remember that sales are a slightly lagging indicator of market activity.
Year-over-Year Changes in Luxury Home Markets
Mortgage Interest Rates
We are not going to review the economic news already extensively covered in the media, except for this stark illustration of the unparalleled rise in unemployment. How quickly this horrifying trend can be reversed will probably be the single largest factor behind an economic recovery (after the discovery of a vaccine).