Home sales in Napa County sank like a rock in May, falling 54% compared to a year ago, the California Association of Realtors reported.
This is another sign of the continuing economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the association said.
Only 158 locals offered their house for sale in May, compared to 260 in May 2019, Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, Inc. reported
Of the 158 homes listed in May, 72 were sold compared to the 153 homes sold in May 2019.
The average selling price of a house in Napa County also declined in May, but not as much as the number of houses sold. Buying a Napa County house at an average price in May this year was estimated at $ 672,500, compared to $ 725,000 a year ago, the California Association of Realtors said.
"The sharp drop in sales in May was the steepest we've seen in some time, but there are encouraging signs that the market is recovering and should continue to improve over the next few months," said Jeanne Radsick, President of CAR 2020.
"Buyer demand is increasing given record lows where monthly mortgage payments are $ 300 less than a year ago."
This is especially true for Napa, according to local real estate experts, especially for homes with a value of less than $ 1.1 million and in good condition.
"If the price is reasonable and in good condition, most of these homes will be signed within seven to ten days," said Ted Stumpf, real estate agent at Windermere Real Estate and current chair of the North Bay Association of Realtors Napa Valley Chapter .
These types of houses "are receiving excessive attention at the moment," said Stumpf.
Even with COVID-19, the real estate market in Napa County is healthy, said Chris Wunderlich, broker at Terra Firma Global Partners and former chair of the Napa Valley chapter of the North Bay Association of Realtors.
"We see that many houses are being contracted and our inventory is great," said Wunderlich.
Both Wunderlich and Stumpf are currently involved in such a Napa house. The two bedroom, one bathroom home is located on Paul Ave. 870 and was rebuilt. It is ready to move into. Listed by Wunderlich on Friday, June 26 for $ 455,000, the house was shown 16 times within three days and received four offers.
"It's just a super cute little house," said Wunderlich. "Most of the entry-level houses you see take a lot of work. It was turnkey."
An offer came from a Stumpf customer. A Napa woman who wanted to buy her first house temporarily stopped looking during the pandemic and has since resumed.
Stumpf said he hoped to know shortly whether his client's offer had been accepted.
Located north of Lincoln Avenue near Yajome Street, "the house on Paul Avenue" fits really well and inexpensively, "he said.
Its potential buyer, who works in the wine industry, likes the charm and character of the older house, but also that it has modern amenities. She also wants to take advantage of the low interest rates, he said.
Stumpf said that spring is usually the busiest season for the real estate industry in Napa Valley.
"It is no different this year, except that we were cut off in the middle" by the shelter-in-home order and the temporary ban on showing houses. Now that houses can be shown again, coupled with low interest rates, pent-up demand is fueling the local market, he said.
"I think the results for June will be very different. We won't drop 54% year-on-year. I think people are on the right track again."
For those who think the pandemic means that business can be done, think again.
"There are no discounts for corona viruses," said Stumpf. "Maybe there was early" for houses that were listed before the virus, or for those who had to sell, but not now.
Stumpf noticed other factors he saw in the local market.
First, new deals tend to be in excellent shape, as many homeowners have had time to make improvements while ordering homes at home.
Second, the increasing number of people now working from home means that more and more buyers are coming to Napa from outside the region. These buyers may have jobs in the Bay Area, but find that they don't have to live near work.
Stumpf also said today's buyers are more engaged. They are serious, he said, "no real estate agents."
"The Lookie-Loos, who like to look at houses to see houses, are currently not on the move," said Stumpf. "They don't think it's worth the risk. And we can't keep open houses."
According to CAR, home sales in California fell to their lowest level since the Great Recession as the real estate market suffered the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic in May and remained below 300,000 for the second month in a row.
Closed trust sales of existing single-family homes in California in May were a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 238,740 units. This comes from information that CAR has gathered from more than 90 local broker associations and nationwide multiple listing services.
Total sales in May decreased 13.9% from 277,440 in April and 41.4% year over year when 407,330 homes were sold on an annual basis. It was the second consecutive month that home sales declined to less than 300,000 units.
In addition, the year-over-year decline was the largest since November 2007 and contributed to a 12.9% decline in sales since the beginning of the year.
As demand for residential property declined in May, property prices continued to fall, lowering the nationwide average price for homes for the first time since February 2012, and breaking the government's price hike of 98 months from a year earlier.
The nationwide average price in May of $ 588,070 for existing single-family homes in the state decreased 3% compared to April and 3.7% compared to May 2019 when the average price was a revised $ 610,940.
"As we had predicted, home sales in May had the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as much of the state has been blocked for the past few months and has caused double-digit sales declines for three months that we haven't seen since the association started in 1979 reporting monthly home sales, "said Leslie Appleton-Young, CAR's senior vice president and chief economist.
"While we expect sales activity to remain below pre-COVID-19 levels, closed sales will improve significantly as the gradual reopening of the economy continues and consumers feel more confident about returning to the market."
Given the dramatic change in market conditions, a monthly survey by CAR in early June found that 40% of consumers said it was a good time to sell, compared to 29% a month ago, but 51% a year ago.