California’s housing market begins to feel effects of coronavirus as March home sales drop

California home sales fell from both the previous month and year in March as the coronavirus pandemic began taking a toll on the housing market, especially in the last two weeks of the month as the state’s stay-at-home order was put in place, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said. 

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 373,070 units in March, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2020 if sales maintained the March pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“The relatively moderate sales decrease that occurred in March is only a prelude to what we’ll see in April and May because sales were still modestly strong during the first two weeks of March before stay-in-place orders were implemented throughout the state,” said 2020 C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick, a second-generation REALTOR® from Bakersfield, Calif. “However, pending sales, which is a better reflection of the current market conditions and consumer concerns about the coronavirus, dropped nearly 25 percent and suggest the decline could extend beyond the next couple of months, depending on the duration of the pandemic and the lockdown.”California home sales fell from both the previous month and year in March as the coronavirus pandemic began taking a toll on the housing market, especially in the last two weeks of the month as the state’s stay-at-home order was put in place, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said. 

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 373,070 units in March, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2020 if sales maintained the March pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“The relatively moderate sales decrease that occurred in March is only a prelude to what we’ll see in April and May because sales were still modestly strong during the first two weeks of March before stay-in-place orders were implemented throughout the state,” said 2020 C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick, a second-generation REALTOR® from Bakersfield, Calif. “However, pending sales, which is a better reflection of the current market conditions and consumer concerns about the coronavirus, dropped nearly 25 percent and suggest the decline could extend beyond the next couple of months, depending on the duration of the pandemic and the lockdown.”

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