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20 Days into Our New Normal – A COVID Local Housing Impact Report

The national news outlets say a lot of things.  Stats about mortgage applications, new home construction starts, housing markets grinding to a halt… BUT WHAT ABOUT US!?   Below, we have buyer activity data from the first 20 days of the COVID-19 pandemic for Collin, Denton and Dallas Counties.  And it’s not all bad news!

This data is a follow up from my previous post, where we started carefully tracking the amount of homes that are being put “under contract” to get some early indicators as to how buyers are behaving in this weird time.  If buyers are still out shopping for homes, then values stay high.  If buyers decide to sit this one out, then sellers are going to get desperate, leading to lower sales prices/lower appraisals.  So let’s dive in and figure out what is going on based on the first 20 days...

Quick Explanation!  The charts below are going to have two bars, one for homes being put “under contract” this year AND one to compare against for last year.  To read this right, you have to know that the average home is sold about 30 days after it’s put “under contract”.  So last year’s sold data was put into date ranges based on this corresponding timeframe to give us an active comparison.

Across the board, the first 10 day time period was an interesting phase where people kind of “proceeded with caution”.  Buyers still went out to open houses, halfway social-distanced and put in offers.  The numbers show that the majority of buyers were still willing to go home shopping.  But day 11 thru day 20 is where we see that some price ranges were more affected than others.  Here’s the county by county breakdown so you can see how your local market is being affected.

Days 11 thru 20 show a definite reduction in the amount of homes being seen and getting accepted offers.  The bright side of this data is seeing that the $200,000 to $300,000 range hasn’t been as badly affected as other price ranges.   And in somewhat of a shocker, the $400,000 to 500,000 price range is surprisingly healthy (likely due to buyer incomes being mostly salaried and possibly more savings than lower price ranges). 

The orange bar represents how many homes went under contract in 2019 (and eventually sold 30 days later).  The blue bar shows the amount of homes going under contract this year.

Buyer demographics start showing their differences here.  Above $300,000 there is a noticeable drop in buyers deciding to take advantage of low interest rates and move forward with purchasing.  On the other end of the spectrum, since there are more homes for sale under $200,000 in Denton County, this is the strongest segment of this chart.  Coming in second is the $250,000 to $300,000 which is made up of budget-priced new homes and larger pre-existing homes in parts of Frisco, Little Elm, NW Carrollton, The Colony and the suburbs along Interstate 35 that are included in Denton County (each city is different, so contact me for a deeper dive into hyper-local buyer data).

The orange bar represents how many homes went under contract in 2019 (and eventually sold 30 days later).  The blue bar shows the amount of homes going under contract this year.

Dallas County is a big place, so big that it’s hard to draw conclusions as to which homes may sell quickly and which may have to endure a longer time on the market before a willing buyer comes along.  But with all that being said, the data shows that buyer demand is stronger than expected.  $200,000 to $300,000 is VERY strong compared to Collin and Denton Counties.  And $350,000 to $450,000 looks alive as well, leading me to believe that buyers are not being scared away EVEN DURING their strict “stay at home” orders being in effect. 

Pandemic aside, yearly leases are still ending this month and rental rates are still rising, leading first-time homebuyers to consider the idea of buying instead of continuing to rent.  This makes up the majority of the under $300,000 demand for homes in the market.  Demand is real because the need for a home is real, but will future demand dwindle in light of job instability?  Yes!  But with a large enough population of potential buyers, 30% could lose their jobs (I hope not!) and most homes would still be able to find a buyer.  Timid sellers are choosing to take their homes off the market.  Brave sellers benefit from this, because it creates more demand for the limited inventory of homes that are available.  It only takes ONE buyer and ONE seller to create a SOLD home!  That’s the beautiful part about the housing market.  Aside from the big numbers and big fears, people still need homes. 

Stay tuned next time for the next 10 days of data and info on which homes are more likely to get top dollar, even during this time period! 

From Your Realtor for Life,

Timothy Henley
Texas Realtor & Broker

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P.S... We Developed a Way to Sell with NO SHOWINGS! (link)


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