RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – Home buying has declined steeply but prices are still on a steady increase, according to the Virginia Realtors’ February 2023 Virginia Homes Sales Report.
In February, there were 6,505 home sales across Virginia, a 20.3% decline from the same month last year, and a 31.1% decrease from February 2021, which saw a significant peak in the real estate market. This decrease marks the 15th consecutive month ending with a decline in sales activity, as interest rates continue to double.
However, even though fewer people are buying, the statewide median sales price rose by 5.7% to $370,000, according to the report, meaning in the past year, homes have become $20,000 more expensive to purchase.
On average, houses have remained on the market for 38 days, eight days longer than last year, and Virginia sellers are also receiving slightly less than their asking price. At the end of February, there were 14,588 active listings on the market statewide, 2,416 more listings than last year.
Virginia Realtors’ chief economist Ryan Price said that might not be a good thing.
“Active listings are building up,” Price said, “but keep in mind that it’s not from new listings. February saw a 22% reduction in new listings since the same time last year, reflecting hesitation from sellers.”
With the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank and the subsequent drop in mortgage rates that has been said to rival the 2008 financial crisis, it seems many home buyers and sellers are putting a temporary hold on their dreams.
“The recent events in the banking sector continue to resonate across the nation’s economy,” said Virginia Realtors’ CEO Terrie Suit. “If mortgage rates continue to drop, it could induce activity in what has been a slowing housing market.”