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How Buyers, Sellers Are Behaving in 4 Metros Hit Hard by Coronavirus 

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How Buyers, Sellers Are Behaving in 4 Metros Hit Hard by Coronavirus 

May 11, 2020
Downtown french quarters at night
By Christian Hinkle

Coronavirus hit Seattle, New Orleans, Detroit, and Chicago hard, so Redfin analyzed how the outbreaks affected delistings, new listings, and home sales. The real estate company also checked to see if flattening the curve has changed those numbers. At the start of the pandemic, delistings, new listings, and home sales tanked, but as the cities recovered, the local housing markets began to show signs of recovery. Now, Chicago is the only one of the three cities that has not reached its peak in cases yet. See how each of these four markets have fared as the pandemic continues. 

To better understand how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting local housing markets across the country, we identified four of the U.S. metropolitan areas that were hit hard by COVID-19 and analyzed how buyers and sellers are reacting. Specifically, we examined delistings, new listings and home sales in Chicago, where COVID-19 continues to trend upward; Seattle and New Orleans, which have flattened the curve; and Detroit, which has also flattened the curve but did not deem real estate essential.

Chicago: The metro area hasn’t yet experienced a peak in COVID-19 cases. There were still nearly 3,000 new cases a day as of May 4.
Detroit: The only metro in our analysis where real estate was not deemed an essential service—meaning agents are unable to show homes and visit with clients while the state’s stay-at-home order is in place—Detroit flattened the curve in early April. This week, Michigan began easing restrictions on real estate.
New Orleans: The area experienced a relatively dramatic rise—and subsequent fall—in coronavirus cases, surpassing 2,000 daily new cases on April 2 and then quickly falling to below 500 about a week later. 
Seattle: The first reported epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, it was also the first metro in our analysis to flatten the curve—in late March—thanks to early social distancing and testing.

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