The various shapes predicted by economists reflect their expectations for the charts generated by employment figures, the stock market, retail sales, auto sales and home sales as people return to work. These expectations are tempered by predictions of any potential future issue with a stronger return of the coronavirus that could cause renewed stay-at-home mandates. Unlike the previous recession at the end of the 2000s, which was fueled in part by the housing crisis, today’s difficulties are directly tied to efforts to control the virus rather than any fundamental economic problems.
Nationwide, the housing market is in particularly good shape because demand remains high and mortgage rates are phenomenally low. The housing shortage will keep competition heated and prices firm.
The Washington region, widely regarded as a recession-resistant economy thanks to jobs tied to the federal government and the tech industry, has seen a strong resurgence since May.
Spring market converted to summer market
The housing market, particularly in the Washington, D.C., region, was on track for a robust spring. In the first half of March, before the stay-at-home guidelines kicked in, homes were selling fast and the median sales price for the month reached a 10-year high of $490,000. More than half of all homes sold in the region were snapped up in one to 10 days.
Even in April, as concern about the novel coronavirus spread, regional home prices were up to a 10-year high for the month, at $507,000, which was also an increase of 6.7 percent over the median sales price in April 2019. Homes were selling for the full asking price or more.
But in April, pending sales declined and new listings dropped significantly as sellers opted to hold back their listings. Pending sales refer to homes that are under contract that have yet to