How's the Market?
I get this question all the time as a real estate agent. Rather than taking one agent's word for how it is giving a general idea, it's better to look at the data, and there are some strong sources that I can point to for exactly that. I'll share the median sales price, from the past year as well as since 2009 pulled directly from REIN MLS, the main Hampton Roads MLS. I'll also share the median days on market.
If looking beyond Hampton Roads, here is a link for which MLS is used most in SE VA cities/counties as of the time I pulled the numbers. Here are some additional resources for the market stats by MLS, though sometimes not as comprehensive or user friendly as the information available further below for Hampton Roads:
1. Mathews, Gloucester (though REIN has more properties in Gloucester), & other parts of the middle Peninsula (Chesapeake Bay and Rivers Association of REALTORS®)
2. Richmond, Petersburg, & other parts of the Central Virginia region surrounding Richmond/Petersburg (Central Virginia Regional MLS)
3. Northern Neck MLS & some other local associations, in partnership with the Virginia Association of Realtors, produces quarterly housing reports like this one for Northern Neck MLS for quarter 2, 2022 that I get in the event that anyone would like an up-to-date version for an MLS in SE VA where I have access via membership or otherwise (Northern Neck, REIN, Williamsburg MLS, Chesapeake Bay Area Regional MLS, and Central Virginia Regional MLS).
4. In areas with high crossover MLS (i.e. Gloucester & Williamsburg), and in areas without great resources to regularly go for reports from the above, it's often possible for me to generate market reports for clients & customers who ask. Please let me know if you'd like me to email that to you for a location in SE VA (or outside of SE VA if you're also having me refer you to an agent there, such as this report for Tampa in Florida from 10/20/22).
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Homes for Sale:
The inventory is highest typically from May-July, but you can see below that the inventory has dropped significantly in the past decade.
Sales Price (Monthly Calculations) that demonstrate the seasonal swings of the market. As you can see below, January tends to be the lowest price of the year, while June appears to be the highest. When considering sales price, it's important to note that properties typically go under contract the month prior, so January low sales are from the low volume of new ratified contracts in December. People are busy with Christmas, etc.
Waiting around <1 year in temporary housing (or with a 6 month lease if in 6 months the market will be right) to buy in a normally appreciating market for seasonal trends to occur can be fine, especially if you are not planning to sell a home & the market is not rapidly appreciating. 2020/2021 would be considered rapid appreciation, so I wouldn't advise waiting around right now for most, all other factors considered, unless selling a higher priced home and buying a lower priced home where waiting around will likely be to your advantage. In a market like 2020, waiting around any time in 2020 wouldn't do much to help someone who is just buying since the market barely dipped at all until January 2021 and the seasonal depreciation between July ($277k) & December ($273.3k) was <1.5%. Conversely, June 2018 ($249.8k) vs January 2019 ($222k) could have resulted in substantial savings.
For sellers looking to sell in the Winter, it would typically make sense to wait a bit, getting your home ready, to list in late April or early May so that you can close in June where the market is seasonally hottest.
As you can see above, home prices aren't just a straight line, but experience seasonal highs and lows. There is typically a Summer High (most often in June) & a Winter low (most often in January). Those highs and lows are mostly from contracts that happen around 30-35 days prior.
It's also important to note that this trend isn't just a trend localized to Hampton Roads. While some localities may vary, these trends appear to relatively closely match those most common in the US for at least the past few years as of January 2022 where trends are readily available from NAR.
Related factors closely follow those same trends:
Price Per Square Feet
Median Days on Market:
National Trends Impact the Local Market Also:
Zillow: 1 Year Projections
UPDATE: In 2022 Zillow no longer has projections, but it still has historical values.
Zillow has graphs by zip code, city, and state, in a way that you won't find on most public websites. These graphs vary in terms of how far they go back, but they show approximate value through their Zillow "Home Value Index" which modifies for factors like standard deviation so that buyers and sellers can make better sense of what they're looking at. Here's an example with 23606. By dragging your cursor along the line it shows you the approximate values in most months available. To have the most months available with the greatest ease of navigation, it's best looked at on a large horizontal screen where every month is available within the year parameters & zooming can further enhance ease of use.
The inflation rate of the US Dollar has a high impact on the short and long-term rate of home appreciation. High rates of inflation boost appreciation, but also tend to push interest rates up, as mentioned in more detail on my interest rates page.
Another factor impacting appreciation is interest rates. Low interest rates boost appreciation by making homeownership more affordable & increase investor purchases.
Another factor impacting appreciation is population growth rates. High growth rates boost appreciation by increasing demand. While the US population is very slowly growing, some parts of the country are increasing rapidly while some are diminishing.
Rein.com is another solid resource specifically for Hampton Roads area sales. Their blog section includes articles like this one that help to break the market down by the numbers.