Real Estate: Outer Banks MLS report for April shows the news isn’t all bad

The Outer Banks Association Of Realtors released its April statistical report on May 8. Like every other business sector, the effects of COVID-19 are evident. But is the news all bad?

“As expected, total month to month sales are down 23% April; however, when comparing 2019 to 2020, sales are up 4% for the year, with residential sales up 2%,” according to OBAR’s report.

In January sales in all classes were up 22% and February was up 15%. Even March sales were up 7% as the COVID-19 shutdowns began. It was a forgone conclusion that April sales would be down.

Residential inventory is down 21% from last year and total inventory is down 17%. 

One big factor in the decline in sales was the individual agent’s ability to show property while following government guidelines for safety. The other was due to the travel restrictions preventing potential buyers from getting here to see property.

This is evident in the MLS report of requests to show property through ShowingTime, a service used by Realtors to requesting property showings. Showings were off 63.7% from the pre-pandemic peak, and down 70.2% from the same time last year.

With visitors being allowed in beginning this Saturday the big question is will the demand for property return? The ShowingTime chart the Outer Banks does show an uptick in May. Nationally the uptick is even more pronounced.

The real estate business did not come to a complete halt in April nationally or on the Outer Banks. There are some transactions that continue to occur no matter what the economy is doing. The question is what kind of recovery will we see and how soon? As much as I hate to say it, only time will tell.

Information in this article is based on information from the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® MLS for the period January 1, 2019, through May 12, 2020.

Mike is a long-time “Outer Banker”, both as a vacationer and a full-time resident. You may also know him as “Moose”, his nickname since he was 15 years old, and his on-air radio name for decades in Raleigh, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, and Norfolk. In fact, you can still hear him on Beach 104 every morning on the “Moose & Jody Show”. Michael has built successful businesses on the Outer Banks. He is active in the community as well as a founding board member of “Outer Banks Forever”, Past President of “The First Flight Society”, a founding member of “The Outer Banks Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition”, and Past President and current member of “First Flight Rotary. Moose shares your love of the Outer Banks, understands the uniqueness of the area, and can help you find your perfect home. Learn more at