Fewer homes for sale in Merced County due to COVID-19

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- The pandemic is having a significant impact on the housing market in Merced County, but not in the way you might expect.

'For sale' signs in Merced County have recently become a much less common sight.

"We've got the lowest amount of homes on the market in years, maybe a decade," says realtor Andy Krotik.

Krotik says the pandemic has made many people afraid to allow strangers inside their homes so they're only listing if necessary. The latest MLS reports show just 125 houses for sale in Merced and 27 on the market in Atwater. That's less than half the amount each city had one year ago. The low supply has also led to quick sales.

"Pre-COVID 19, back in March, average days on market was 36 days, today is 15 days on market. Especially for homes under $300,000. For homes under $300,000 we're getting bidding wars," says Krotik.

Amber Hall is one of Krotik's clients. She was worried about listing her home in late April until discussing all of the safety precautions in place.

"He assured me people would wear masks and gloves. He accompanied the buyers and made sure if they touched anything he sanitized it before we came home so that really put me at peace," says Hall.

Hall was also concerned the slumping economy would make it more difficult to sell her home. She says potential buyers often brought that up in negotiations, but her property just went pending this week at a price she was happy to accept.

"I don't feel the pandemic really impacted our goal price that we set in the beginning, I think we're still strong and where we wanted to be," she says.

Krotik says low-interest rates on loans are also a motivating factor for buyers right now, and he's seeing Bay Area residents looking to move into smaller communities with fewer coronavirus cases. So he believes these current trends could continue until more people feel safe putting their homes up for sale.
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