Dallas and Houston Areas Saw the Biggest Drop in Home Sales in May
The growing pandemic caused Texas home sales in May to drop to their lowest level in eight years. The declines in statewide and national home purchases increased last month after initial downturns in April. And the Dallas and Houston areas saw the largest drops in home sales among Texas’ major metro areas.
“The month of May marked the housing market’s deepest decline thus far during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. James Gaines, chief economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, said in a statement. “Texas’ existing home sales plummeted 32% year over year on top of a 22% slide in April.”
The Dallas and Houston areas both saw year-over-year declines of about 28% in existing home sales by real estate agents, according to data from the Real Estate Center. The San Antonio area had the smallest fall-offs in home purchases — down 17% from May 2019 levels. And sales were down 25% in the Fort Worth area.
Nationwide existing home sales fell 27% in May compared with year-earlier levels.
“Sales completed in May reflect contract signings in March and April — during the strictest times of the pandemic lockdown and hence the cyclical low point,” Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors’ chief economist, said in the latest report. “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.”
Median home sales prices across the country were still up 2.3% annually in May.
Sales prices were down slightly in the Dallas area but increased marginally in the other major Texas metro areas.With April and May’s declines due to the pandemic, North Texas home sales by real estate agents are down 6% through the first five months of 2020 compared with the same period last year. Pending sales data for North Texas indicates that June purchases will be higher.
“We expect June data to reflect the initial relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions implemented in mid-March,” said Real Estate Center economist Dr. Luis Torres. “But a resurgence in contracted coronavirus cases and hospitalizations could reverse the recovery...”