In a previous post, I discussed how the effects of the coronavirus on the Austin housing market are still uncertain. Since, writing that post, many things have changed. A shelter in place order has been put into effect for the City of Austin, Travis County, Williamson County, and Hays County. Each of these ordinances varies slightly, and while real estate services are included as an essential professional service, the extent to which a REALTOR can perform his or her job duties is limited by these orders. The City of Austin ordinance as well as the Travis County order explicitly prohibit the showing of homes during the coronavirus shelter in place.
While other counties do not necessarily prohibit showing homes, the spirit of all orders is to allow real estate services that are truly essential. Assisting in the successful completion of closings for homes that are already under contract, providing critical property management services, and housing unhoused individuals is permitted while maintaining social distancing protocols. That being said, these orders severely limit the amount of real estate activity that can legally take place.
On March 20th, I took note of the recent market activity for residential homes in the greater Austin area. All stats that follow are based on statistics for all single family homes in the Austin MLS. This includes homes, condos, and townhomes. From 3/19/2020 to 3/20/2020, there were 287 new home listings. One week later, the number of new listings dropped by 114. The number of pending home sales similarly decreased but not nearly as dramatically. On Friday, March 20th, there were 136 pending home sales. In comparison, we saw 18 pending home sales on Friday the 27th of March. Additionally, home sales decreased from 145 on the 20th to 108 on the 27th.
The number of homes leaving the MLS is also indicative of the effect of Covid-19 on the Austin real estate market. Between March 19th and March 20th, 16 homes were withdrawn from the Austin MLS. That number rose to 23 between 3/26/2020 and 3/27/2020. Real estate agents also have the availability to change the MLS status of homes to temporarily off market. On Friday the 20th, 35 homes were changed to this temporary status. Yesterday, March 27th, there were 47 homes that went to temporarily off market status. These numbers are more substantial when looked at from a greater duration of time. In the 3 days prior to 3/20/20, 91 homes went to temporarily off market status. In comparison, 196 homes were temporarily taken off the market between March 25th and March 27th.
In short, Covid-19 and the resulting shelter in place orders are affecting the Austin real estate market. If you can’t physically show homes, there will be far fewer home sales. In my personal business, I am seeing these effects first hand. Clients who planned to list their homes and buy new ones are holding off until after the coronavirus pandemic. My new construction deals are continuing; however, the implications of the shelter in place orders will very likely slow construction on many homes. As always, if you have specific questions feel free to contact me.
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