April MLS Report from OBAR

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The Outer Banks Association Of Realtors released its April statistical report on May 8. Like every other business sector, the effects of COVID-19 are evident. But is the news all bad?

From OBAR’s report “As expected, total month to month sales are down 23% April; however, when comparing 2019 to 2020, sales are up 4% for the year, with residential sales up 2%.” In January sales in all classes were up 22% and February was up 15%. Even March sales were up 7% as the COVID-19 shutdowns began. It was a forgone conclusion that April sales would be down. 

Residential inventory is down 21% from last year and total inventory is down 17%. 

One big factor in the decline in sales was the individual agent’s ability to show property while following government guidelines for safety. The other was due to the travel restrictions preventing potential buyers from getting here to see property. This is evident in the MLS report of requests to show property through ShowingTime, a service used by Realtors to requesting property showings. Showings were off 63.7% from the pre-pandemic peak, and down 70.2% from the same time last year. 

With visitors being allowed in beginning this Saturday the big question is will the demand for property return? The ShowingTime chart the Outer Banks does show an uptick in May. Nationally the uptick is even more pronounced.

The real estate business did not come to a complete halt in April nationally or on the Outer Banks. There are some transactions that continue to occur no matter what the economy is doing. The question is what kind of recovery will we see and how soon? As much as I hate to say it, only time will tell.

Information in this article is based on information from the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® MLS for the period January 1, 2019, through May 12, 2020.

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