Survey finds improvement in Virginia housing market

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A majority of Virginia Realtors participating in a survey say housing market conditions were slightly or significantly better during the first three months of this year.

That was one finding of a report released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

The Fed survey, conducted in partnership with Virginia Association of Realtors, looked at the
state of the housing market in Virginia and how conditions changed during
the first quarter.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents said customer traffic was slightly or significantly higher during the quarter.

“The residential housing market has clearly not recovered fully,” Fed regional
economist Andy Bauer said in a statement. “According to the survey respondents, a number of factors are still
negatively impacting the market, including high inventory levels in most areas of the state,
except in Northern Virginia.”

Overall, 51 percent of survey respondents said their outlook for the housing market
has improved since the beginning of the year.

Among the survey’s finds:
• First-time homebuyers represented more than half of homebuyers in the market.
• Most buying activity involved mid-range priced homes although 39 percent of
respondents reported purchases were in the lower-end segment of the market.
• Inventory conditions varied with many respondents
saying inventory levels were too high and while others indicated they
were too low.
• Distressed homes are a still a big factor in the market, according to 40
percent of the respondents.

“While the industry is not in complete recovery yet, we are seeing a brighter picture,” VAR President, Trish Szego said in a statement.

“Inventory and appraisals are still a challenge in some areas, but traffic and overall sales are
picking up rapidly,” Szego explained. “As markets improve, so does the confidence of

VAR represents more than 29,000 Realtors active in all phases of real estate
brokerage, management, development and appraisal.

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