March sales activity started the month strong, but quickly changed, as concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 brought about social distancing measures. This had a heavy impact on businesses and employment.
By the end of March, sales activity had fallen 11% compared to last year. This is 37% lower than long-term averages. The drop in sales pushed March levels to the lowest recorded since 1995.
New listings dropped by 19% this month. This decline in new listings compared to sales caused supply levels to ease and helped prevent a larger increase in oversupply. Overall, the months of supply remain just below five months, similar to levels recorded last year.
Prices were already forecasted to ease this year due to oversupply in our market. In March, the citywide benchmark price was $417,400. This is nearly 1% lower than last year’s levels. The reduction in both sales and new listings should help prevent significant price declines in our market.
However, price declines will likely be higher than originally expected due to the combined impact of the pandemic and energy sector crisis.