Brunswick County’s residential real estate market felt the effects of COVID-19 in May, according to a recent news release from the Brunswick County Association of Realtors.
BCAR's statistics showed decreases in new listings, units sold and total sales. But while listings and sales were down, pending sales increased sharply and the market is ahead of last year’s $1.4 billion pace, the release stated.
“We all knew that May would tell the tale of the coronavirus,” said BCAR CEO Cynthia Walsh in the release. “Given that new listings were down in May, this month’s lower sales numbers are no surprise. May is the first month we’ve seen a drop in sales this year, and we are ahead of last year’s red-hot pace."
At Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty, pending sales in May were up about 5% from May 2019, said Chris Bryan, residential and commercial sales manager for the real estate firm, whose geographic region extends from Shallotte to the North Carolina-South Carolina state line.
"March was painfully slow," Bryan said of the coronavirus pandemic's effect on the market. "Then towards the end of April, we started seeing more and more activity."
Walsh expressed optimism for the future.
"While our market hasn’t been totally immune to the effects of COVID-19, overall we are in strong, healthy shape moving into summer,” she said.
According to the statistics, the number of new listings in May decreased 11.3% compared to 2019, dropping from 638 to 566. The number of units sold decreased 29.6%, from 496 to 349.
Average sale prices, the release stated, were up 7.5%, from $282,369 to $303,439. Total sales volume fell 24.4%, from about $140 million to $106 million.
"Pending sales are up 30% over last May, jumping from 525 to 683 -- the highest total so far this year," the release stated. "The number of units sold during May is also higher than any month during the 11 years prior to February 2017.
"January and February 2020 had a similar number of units sold as May 2020, and the numbers for those months were 40% higher than normal."
BCAR also shared year-to-date stats, which paint a rosier picture. The number of units sold so far in 2020 is up 3.7%, increasing from 1,810 to 1,877. Average sale prices increased 9.5%, from $276,739 to $303,095, and total sales volume is up 13.2%, increasing from about $505 million to more than $571 million.
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