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. First 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. Then I'll share the median days on market.
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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:
Median Days on Market:
Zillow: 1 Year Projections
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.
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.