Real Estate - Residential

Pending Deals, New Listings Slump In April, Realtors Report

By Cece Nunn, posted May 15, 2020
A house for sale on Newkirk Avenue in the midtown Wilmington neighborhood of Hanover Heights. (File photo)

The local real estate market felt the effects of the times during April, the first full month when measures were in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cape Fear Realtors reported this week that the overall median sales price was up by 5.3% last month compared to April 2019, to $260,000.

Closed sales, however, were down 2.2% in the tri-county region of New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties, the data showed. Two of the most drastic changes were the 32.6% drop in new listings and nearly 20% decrease in pending sales from the same month last year.

CFR is monitoring the situation, according to a news release from the Wilmington-based Realtors’ group.

CFR President Tony Harrington said he remains optimistic.

“Realtors quickly adapted to conduct business virtually to keep the market moving for buyers and sellers,” Harrington said in the release. “As we move through phased reopening of the economy, we expect both new listings and pending sales to rebound quickly.”

Not surprisingly, the Wilmington area’s numbers reflect national trends.

“The housing market is temporarily grappling with the coronavirus-induced shutdown, which pulled down new listings and new contracts,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in the release. “As consumers become more accustomed to social distancing protocols, and with the economy slowly and safely reopening, listings and buying activity will resume, especially given the record low mortgage rates.” 

Affordability remains a dominant factor in the region, the release stated, as homes priced $150,000 and below sold within 47 days. 

“Sales are brisk across all categories, with Days on Market down 10.5% overall. Sales activity posted a strong increase of 16.7 percent in properties with four or more bedrooms,” the release stated. “Marketwide, inventory levels were down 8.5 percent for the month.”

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