According to Fritz Frigan, executive director of sales and leasing at the New York residential real estate brokerage Halstead, 44 or 13% of the open houses in New York City have had zero traffic in the past week. This number is up from the 9% recorded two weeks prior. On top of that, the average attendance at open houses in New York fell 27% to an average of 4.1 people per event from an average of 5.6 on Feb. 23, before the virus was reported in New York.
“With nervousness about their decimated stock portfolios comes insecurity about real estate valuations,” Frigan said. “If buyers feel that the values of real estate will further depreciate because of the virus and financial instability, they will postpone their decisions to buy.”
Frigan theorizes that sellers are now adamant in listing their homes in fear of low prices and of strangers walking into their homes – strangers who could be carriers of the virus. Real estate appraiser, Miller Samuel said that this spring, New York City’s real estate listings only increased by 2% amid the historical pattern of spring being a prime selling season in the state. The appraiser also noted that last year’s listing growth during the same period grew 9%.
“Sellers are holding back on listing their properties at the moment,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel.