Report: Metro Detroit Home Sales See 70 Percent Drop in May due to COVID-19

Metro Detroit home sales dropped 70.2 percent year-over-year in May to 1,444 homes sold due to a slowdown caused by COVID-19, according to the latest RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan Housing Report. By comparison, in May 2019, 4,850 homes sold, and 2,110 homes sold in April 2020.
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Metro Detroit home sales dropped 70.2 percent year-over-year in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic. // Stock photo

Metro Detroit home sales dropped 70.2 percent year-over-year in May to 1,444 homes sold due to a slowdown caused by COVID-19, according to the latest RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan Housing Report. By comparison, in May 2019, 4,850 homes sold, and 2,110 homes sold in April 2020.

“As anticipated, May sales were down significantly due to the strict restrictions prohibiting real estate business in Michigan during late March and all of April,” says Jeanette Schneider, executive vice president of RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan in Troy.

“The timing of the pandemic, at the beginning of busy spring selling season, made the drop in business even more noticeable. Once real estate was reopened in early May, buyers that were sidelined came back out in full force, and we are seeing pending deals on par with last year, which is a positive indicator for improving market conditions moving forward.”

The median sales price increased 2.2 percent to $228,625 from May 2019’s $223,725. In April 2020, the median sales price was $233,950. Nationally, the median sales price increased 4.7 percent year-over-year to $272,000.

Homes spent an average 39 days on the market, an increase of six days compared to May 2019. In April 2020, they also spent 39 average days on the market. Nationally, homes spent 46 days on the market, a two-day drop from 2019.

A 2.4-months supply of homes was available in May 2020, down from three months in May 2019 and up from 2.2 months in April 2020. Nationally, there was a 2.5-months supply. A six-month supply is considered balanced.

In Livingston County, the number of home sales dropped 72.9 percent year-over-year from 314 homes to 85. Oakland County saw the next biggest jump – 72.4 percent – from 1,647 to 454. Macomb and Wayne counties saw drops of 69.5 percent and 67.4 percent, respectively, from 1,056 to 322 and 1,788 to 583. Detroit saw the smallest drop – 60.5 percent – from 380 to 150.

The median price increased in Livingston and Oakland counties, by 9.3 percent to $316,000 and 0.2 percent to $275,500, respectively. It decreased by 2.6 percent to $185,000 in Macomb County, 2.5 percent to $39,000 in Detroit, and 1.4 percent to $138,000 in Wayne County.

Homes spent 39 days in the market in Macomb and Livingston counties, increases of 34.5 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. In Oakland County, they spent an average of 37 days on the market, a 19.4 percent increase. In Wayne County, they spent an average 42 days on the market, a 27.3 percent increase, and in Detroit, they spent an average 51 days, a 2 percent increase.

The nation’s May results – a 33.7 percent decline – was the largest year-over-year drop in home sales, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report.

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