RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – A report from Virginia REALTORS shows the slowest April housing market for the state in over a decade.

According to a press release, the April 2023 Virginia Home Sales Report shows 8,252 homes were sold in Virginia in April. That is a 31.2% decrease from last year.

Virginia REALTORS says typically they see an increase in new listings between March and April, however this year they are seeing fewer sellers across the Commonwealth listing their houses.

 “During the refinance boom of 2020 and 2021, many homeowners were able to lock in extremely low interest rates,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2023 President Katrina M. Smith. “Because of this, there is little incentive for them to list their homes and move into a new home with a much higher rate. This trend is keeping Virginia’s already tight inventory even tighter.”

Despite the lower sales numbers and higher interest rates, the REALTORS’ chief economist told 10 On Your Side Monday that he sees signs of hope. “We are anticipating is that (interest rates) could get down into the 5% range, hopefully by the end of this year, and even lower next year,” said Ryan Price, although he warns that they won’t get anywhere near the days of 3-4% during the pandemic refinancing boom.

Despite the low numbers in sales, Virginia is seeing numbers for the constrained supply stay steady, with the median price in April for Virginia being $391,000.

Price says home-ownership remains a solid long-term investment.

“Buying real estate is one of the key mechanisms of wealth generation in our country,” he said. “The reality is if you’re planning to be in the area for the foreseeable future, and you can find a home or property that meets your budget and needs, it does make sense to go ahead and start building that equity wealth in the home.”

And sellers are getting what they’re asking — the state’s average sold-to-price ratio has also risen to 100% for the second month in a row.

To read the full April 2023 Virginia Home Sales Report, visit the Virginia REALTORS website.