Metro Detroit home sales dropped 70% in May
Home sales plunged 70% in May in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic — the largest drop in the country, according to the Remax National Housing report.
The report found that while May is normally one of the strongest months for home sales, second only to June, sales last month were the lowest since 2012.
Nationwide, sales are down 34% from last year.
The median sale price for housing in the Metro Detroit area is $228,625, up 2.2% over last year, the report said.
"Michigan was one of a handful of states where real estate activity was not allowed to take place," said Jeanette Schneider, executive vice president of Remax of Southeastern Michigan. "That being the case, you really didn't have anybody able to go out and look for homes for about a good six- to seven-week period. That's going to show up four to six weeks down the road when there're no closings."
Schneider also added that unemployment could be one of the factors affecting housing sales and that purchasing will start occurring as more people return to work.
"What we're somewhat anticipating is that this recovery may come in waves," Schneider said. "The folks that didn't lose jobs that were planning to buy or sell this spring were forced on the sidelines for March and April, but they came roaring back in May."
Michigan workers who operate in retail, restaurant, and salon businesses have recently returned back to work, and Schneider anticipates that they will be in the second wave of buyers and sellers. She says that white-collar workers may follow toward year-end.
Pending sales for June are increasing and are also matching up to what they were a year ago, Schneider said. She says when Michigan's "stay home" order was lifted and when Realtors could return to work, home sales began to increase.
"It did put buyers back out in the market rather quickly," said Schneider. "They've put offers on homes and the deals that were done in early May should close in June."
Schneider says she believes June's data will not be as negative as May's.