A welcome respite
Residential market cools after frenzied spring
While the spring was red-hot for the residential real estate market, conditions are expected to cool off in the fall.
“The market is definitely stabilizing,” says Liz Moore, board president of Real Estate Information Network Inc., the multiple listing service (MLS) for the Hampton Roads region. “We had such a frenzied market during the pandemic.”
She cautions, though, that it’s hard to predict what will happen next because the market has been so crazy.
Earlier this year, housing inventory was so low, nearly every listing had multiple offers on it, creating an ultra-competitive market for buyers.
A steadier market, which is a good possibility for this fall, is good and bad for buyers. Rising interest rates are pulling some buyers out, and would-be first-time homebuyers could be affected more than other potential buyers. But that means a more balanced supply-and-demand equation.
“It was so competitive for the last two years that buyers didn’t have much of a chance in a multiple-offer situation,” Moore says. “Now that there’s not quite such an intense frenzy of competition, buyers don’t have to pay such wild prices.”
In July 2021, the median sales price for a home in the region was $300,000 — and a year later, the median cost rose about 7.5% to $322,500, according to REIN data. And that’s up from the median price of $275,000 from July 2020. Still, Moore is seeing some cooling on the higher end of the market, where homes listed for $750,000 or more are staying on the market longer than they had in recent years.
“I think there is good news on the horizon,” Moore says. “As the inventory inches up, that will be a welcome respite for these buyers.”