ANDERSON — As expected, activity in the local real estate market tumbled in April as restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic took full effect and potential buyers and sellers chose to remain on the sidelines.
According to a monthly report issued by the Metro Indianapolis Board of Realtors, new listings in Madison County plunged 35.5% in April compared to March, and were off 42.3% from April 2019.
“I think people are using this time to go ahead and get their homes ready to put on the market,” said Amanda Malone, chair of the Madison County division of MIBOR. “They’ve got so many projects to do, that need done. So I think people are using this time to get them ready.”
Malone, an agent with F.C. Tucker Crossroads, said calls to her office inquiring about new listings slowed to a near standstill for two weeks in April before picking back up in the latter part of the month.
“The last two weeks have completely blown up,” she said. “I spoke with a lender of mine recently, and people are actually starting to use their stimulus checks as part of down payments to get into homes.”
Also of note: Pending sales in the county were down 9.3% from March and off 22.1% from April of last year. Those numbers, Malone said, were not entirely unsurprising given that many real estate offices and title agencies began restricting their hours in mid-March, leading to inevitable delays in paperwork and other parts of the home buying process.
“We were kind of getting in the groove of what was going to come,” Malone said. “So I think, honestly, our numbers, when they come out for May, will actually be higher than last year’s.”
Malone added that, as pandemic-related restrictions continue to ease, she expects home sales to rebound well.
“I think we’re in that spring fever stage where we didn’t really have it in March or April, and now we’re getting it in May and June, where people are starting to move forward with things,” she said. “They’re not so scared of what’s to come because the government says it’s OK to open up in phases.”