Could the bloom be off the rose when it comes to urban (or urban-village) living?
Figures are preliminary at best, but there is some inkling that the COVID-19 pandemic may be changing patterns among home-buyers.
“Relatively better performance of single-family homes in relation to multi-family condominium properties clearly suggest migration from the city centers to the suburbs,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association Realtors, in parsing sales data from May.
“After witnessing several consecutive years of urban revival, the new trend looks to be in the suburbs, as more companies allow greater flexibility to work from home,” Yun said.
Nationally, single-family home sales were down about 25 percent in May from a year ago, as the market dealt with the impact of the pandemic and associated economic downturn. But prices rose, with the median existing single-family home price inching up 2.4 percent to $287,700.
In the condominium market, however, sales for May were down more than 41 percent from a year ago, and the median sales price of $252,300 was down 1.6 percent.
NAR officials expect May to be the “cyclical low point” of the COVID pandemic in terms of year-over-year sales declines.
“Home sales will surely rise in the upcoming months with the economy reopening, and could even surpass one-year-ago figures in the second half of the year,” Yun said.
The median sales price for all housing types in May was $284,600, up 2.3 percent from May 2019 and marking 99 straight months of year-over-year gains. Price increases were reported three of the nation’s four major geographic areas, rising 7.8 percent to $327,900 in the Northeast, 3 percent to $227,400 in the Midwest and 2.1 percent to $247,400 in the South. In the West, the median sales price of $408,400 was down 0.2 percent.