Yahoo’s “Money” tab is a source Memphis area readers can visit for non-technical reportage on the latest U.S. economic developments. Last week it led with a surprisingly upbeat look at residential real estate: “Homebuyers rush back in droves despite coronavirus pandemic.”
There was ample evidence to support the description—a rush from homebuyers attested to by a 44.3% jump in pending home sales. The leap from April to May set an all-time record. And for those still unconvinced, there was further verification via the sustained volume increase in home purchase mortgage applications. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications had been on the rise, year-over-year, throughout the previous four weeks.
Given the backdrop of uncertainty and anxiety caused by the pandemic, some observers were at a loss to explain such pronounced activity. Not so the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors®. The NAR’s Lawrence Yun emailed Yahoo a statement explaining the surge—the same phenomenon that has buttressed Memphis area home sales a while: “Homebuyers are rushing into the market to take advantage of the low-interest rates.” A shot of consumer optimism was added with the “steadily reopening” of major sectors of the economy.
The “droves” of buyers were being hampered by one factor, though. Many found themselves confronted by the “the same headwind” that had existed before the pandemic: the scarcity of homes for sale. The pandemic hadn’t helped. Realtor.com’s latest survey showed total listings down by 29% year over year—a dip compared with 2019’s already scarce inventories.
For Memphis area homeowners considering listing their own properties, last week’s Yahoo and other national reports were clearly encouraging. Reported just ahead of the weekend, Thursday’s surprisingly bullish economic news was similarly supportive. For a precise picture of this summer’s Memphis area market activity for homes like yours, get in touch today!