Listing inventory falls in first quarter

Rental Market Strong

The East End’s real estate market has been affected both positively and negatively by the coronavirus spread. While the presence of the pandemic cooled listing inventory, more homeowners are listing their homes for renters who are eager to move in during the spring season.

Jonathan Miller’s latest housing notes for Miller Samuel Inc. offer a wealth of knowledge for appraisers and real estate consultants.

In the final two weeks of March, “awareness of the global pandemic known as COVID-19 cooled conditions after two significant rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and the statewide shutdown of nonessential businesses,” he said, adding listing inventory fell quarter over quarter in the first quarter for the first time since 2007. “If the outbreak is not prolonged, there is still potential for a release of pent-up demand, but this depends on the extent of damage done to the economy,” said Miller.

Out East said interest from renters has kicked off early. The company has added its name to the industry talking heads forecasting a busy summer in the Hamptons.

“There was a 130-person uptick in the number of renters contacting agents on Out East this March compared to last year,” said spokeswoman Emily McDonald.

More homeowners are listing their homes for rent, too. In the second two weeks of March, 53 percent more rentals were listed on Out East compared to the two weeks prior. In 2019, there was only a nine-percent increase in listings between these two time periods.

Renters are searching for homes for immediate occupancy. Renters can now search for homes available for April and May in addition to the “more traditional” summertime periods. More than double the number of users have searched for homes available for the month of April, compared to Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Out East just launched video walkthroughs, allowing renters to virtually tour homes while social-distancing orders are in place.