San Antonio home sales fall 8% amid coronavirus pandemic

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San Antonio's housing market is slowing down amid the coronavirus pandemic, but prices are still rising.

Buyers closed on 2,748 homes in the metro area in April, down 8% year-over-year, the San Antonio Board of Realtors reported. It was the first decline since June, when sales fell a modest 1%.

Pending sales decreased to 2,652 last month from 3,182 in April 2019.

Yet, prices in the San Antonio area continued ticking up, increasing 5% to $241,500, as inventory tightened to 3.3 months.

The inventory of available homes in the area is a measurement of the average time it takes for a home to be sold if no new homes are listed, and six months typically indicates a balance between buyers and sellers.

"While the numbers show a slight decline, we are still seeing movement and progress in the housing market in San Antonio, especially when compared with the state and other parts of the country," said Kim Bragman, SABOR's 2020 chairman of the board.

"We have to remember the magnitude of what we have experienced across the world, and expect that we will see some numbers that change the trend, but we are optimistic when looking at the big picture that momentum will keep driving forward in the housing market," she added.

The region's dip was smaller than the drop across Texas. Owners and developers sold 24,795 homes statewide in April, a 17.4% decline from the same month last year.

The decrease in sales locally "really isn't that bad, considering what we're going through and the percentage of our market that is military," said Philip Becker, founder and broker of record at Becker Properties in San Antonio.

Some military personnel are holding off on buying or selling a home while they wait for orders, which may contribute to sellers seeing fewer showings than anticipated, Becker said.

Otherwise, he said, "things are continuing to move."

Homes under the area's median price are in high demand.

During the pandemic, real estate agents are relying more on technology. They are handling more virtual showings and Zoom consultations, and bringing hand sanitizer to appointments. Becker said he dropped off Clorox wipes, booties and disposable gloves at a new listing Wednesday night.

"We're being cautious," he said.

Tribune Content Agency