Here’s how the coronavirus is affecting Central Florida’s real estate market

April numbers show home sales down 28% amid COVID-19 pandemic

Like pretty much every industry, the latest numbers show the real estate market is not immune to the coronavirus.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Like pretty much every industry, the latest numbers show the real estate market is not immune to the coronavirus.

New data from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association shows home sales dropped 28% in the month of April, compared to a year ago.

“The pandemic kind of caught up to us a little bit,” Orlando Regional Realtor Association President Reese Stewart said.

Despite the drop, Stewart said the numbers do not appear to echo the 2008 housing crisis.

Data shows that when homes are selling, many are still closing above their previous value.

The overall median price of all types of Orlando homes sold in April 2020 was $263,750, a 12.2% increase from the April 2019 median price of $235,000 and 4.0% above the March 2020 median price of $253,500.

"What we’re seeing across the board is home pricing is staying the same," Stewart said.

Stewart told News 6 the number of homes up for sale did drop 3% compared to a year ago.

Chris Creegan, the owner of Creegan Property Group, shifted his real estate business because of the pandemic, utilizing virtual walk-throughs and a personal touch in the era of COVID-19.

"A lot of our buyers and sellers are a little wary because of the pandemic," he said. "Sellers have requested that buyers first tour the home through a virtual tour we provide. They don’t want to bring everyone into the house until we’re bringing serious buyers first."

While some deals have fallen through, Creegan told News 6 this pandemic avoided impacting much of their sales, and has not touched home prices.

"We’re really relieved that’s not happening," he said. "The limited supply of homes caused prices to continue to increase. The limited supply has really brought some of our stale listings to the forefront."

Creegan and his team recently hired a creative director to help handle the influx of virtual home sales.

“We’re seeing buyers are a little more willing to write the offer site unseen based on Facetime tours, virtual tours,” he said. “We have buyers, several under contract, and they haven’t seen the home yet. We contracted on homes in the millions of dollars site unseen. I think it’s going to become more common as this drags on.”

About the Author:

It has been an absolute pleasure for Clay LePard living and working in Orlando since he joined News 6 in July 2017. Previously, Clay worked at WNEP TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he brought viewers along to witness everything from unprecedented access to the Tobyhanna Army Depot to an interview with convicted double-murderer Hugo Selenski.