January 2022 continues to see the same issues that have been plaguing the local real estate market for many months, namely low supply.  A lack of choice in the market coupled with steadily rising prices and a brutal blast of winter led to decreased sales in the month and a significant decline in pending sales.  Despite the factors working against the market, total sold volume and prices both climbed handily.  January closed out with a total sold dollar volume of approximately $202.6 million which represents a nearly 10% increase over January of 2021.  The market saw a significant 15% year-over-year increase in median price, going from $345,000 in January of 2021 to just shy of $400,000 at $396,000 this January.  Units sold decreased for only the second time since May of 2020, coming in at 468, a nearly 4% decrease from last January’s total of 486. 

FAAR Board of Director Randy Walther comments, “This winter has seen the market become lean and mean. Homes for sale have fallen to record lows in terms of supply. While some of this is seasonal, a portion is outright fatigue from the stress of the past year or two. It’s difficult for some sellers to motivate themselves to prepare their home for the market when they realize that finding a new place could be a long, drawn-out endeavor. However, if they do move forward, they are more often than not seeing good returns for their effort. Current buyers, on the other hand, seem to be active but not fixated on a quick result. There may be fewer people looking in the winter so it’s not as hectic of a market. Realtors® are doing a good job of helping both sellers and buyers understand the present landscape.”

Most jurisdictions in the FAAR footprint saw a decrease in units sold with the City of Fredericksburg leading the way at a 40% reduction.  January of 2021 saw 43 sales, compared to 26 this year.  Caroline County also saw a steep decline, with over 27% fewer sales than last January.  Stafford County saw a modest increase of 9% but two of our most rural jurisdictions, Orange County and Colonial Beach, saw sizable increases in units sold at 20% more and 38% more respectively, compared to last January.  Orange County saw 63 sales this January compared to 53 last year, while Colonial Beach had 22 this year compared to 16 last year. 

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract and is removed from active status on the multiple listing service, increased 30% up to 26 days.  While it’s still a brief amount of time considering historical real estate trends, it is still double the number of days at the lowest part of the market from July of 2021, which stood at just an average of 1o days on the market. 

Inventory remains low, but was still up 22% from last year’s historic bottom of supply.  There were just 396 homes on the market at the end of January 2021.  That number ticked up to 484 homes at the end of this January, but the good news was tempered by a more than 23% reduction in new listings coming on the market.  In January of 2021, 600 sellers put their homes up for sale.  In January of 2022, just 461 new listings came onto the market. 

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