If you own your home, and have no plans to sell, the best move may be to simply ignore the news reports around sales activity – over the next few months in particular.
Things are volatile, and it’s difficult to draw accuracy from the current data, for your specific property.
If you’re planning on buying or selling over the coming months, gather your intel from local Realtors who are active in your specific area. This is always the best source for accurate data, but now more than ever before.
The reality is, when there are 500-1,000 sales per week, stats are useful and averages and are more reasonable.
When sales plummet to say 50 – 100 sales per week, even fewer in many areas, determining accurate trends or your specific property becomes near impossible from raw data alone.
Especially when market conditions, such as they are, radically impact one end of the market more heavily than another.
IE properties priced above 2M$ have stopped selling almost totally, and even above 1M$ activity is lower than normal in relation to under 1M$.
Combine the smaller sample size (far fewer sales) with the bulk of remaining sales being under 1M$, and indeed it appears as if ‘prices’ are falling.
The absence of high-end sales affects the ‘average sale price’ yet means nothing to you personally in your hunt for a property priced under 1M$.
The other variable in the mix is one of record low listings, leading to record low supply, and thus putting upward pressure on price.
Appearances can be deceiving. Especially when created by 140 character click bait headlines.
In reality, there are still multiple offer cases on specific properties, with final sale prices above the listing price.
The devil is in the details.
Statistics are prone to such details in their delivery.
How to find out what’s really happening?
Call local Realtors and ask.
More than one.
And what you will discover in doing so is the oft repeated phrase ‘pent up demand’.
Buyers are there, ready and waiting.
Waiting for direction on how to buy in this new world.
Waiting for more listings so they might have a selection to choose from.
This demand will be released.
Maybe not in May or June, maybe not until Q3 or even Q4.
Which may result in weak data used to generate wild headlines throughout Q2.
Headlines designed to do what all headlines do; scare us.
The reality: as we learn to adapt (which humans are masters at doing) any reduction in real values will be short-lived.
If it even existed at all.
The overall sales figures may well wrap up at the end of the year within 90% of the ten year average.
Time will tell.
Remain calm, cool, and collected.