Despite rising interest rates and continued stiff competition, March proved another very strong month in the local real estate market.  The month closed out with a nearly 13% increase in total sold dollar volume, going from approximately $256.6 million in March of 2021, t0 more than $289.1 million in March of 2022.  Median sold price was up more than 11% year-over-year, clocking in at $406,500 in March of 2022 compared to $364,950 in 2021.  That’s a nearly $100,000 increase since March of 2020 when median price stood at $316,000.  Demand for homes is not falling off, but it’s not increasing either with sales this March nearly identical to last year.  Units sold settled at 652 in March of 2022, compared to 650 in March of 2021, a less than 1% increase.  With demand already red hot across all local markets, monthly sales still well-outpaced the 5-year average of 575 units sold in a typical March.

Rising prices are also not just centered on Stafford County or the City of Fredericksburg.  Caroline County, long a bastion of affordability in this region, reached a median price of $350,000 in March.  It was $228,000 just two years ago.  King George County reached a median price of $408,000 in March.  Just two years ago, that median price was $280,000.  Spotsylvania County reached $400,000 median price for the first time ever in March.  In 2020, the median price was $307,000.  And finally, Colonial Beach saw a median price of $315,000 this past month, while it was just $200,000 two years ago. 

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 by 20%, but still remains a very short 18 days.  In March of 2021, it was just 15-days so there is a slightly longer sit time for some homes on the market. 

Inventory still remains below historical averages but has seen a noticeable uptick.  There were nearly 50% more homes on the market this March compared to last year.  At the end of March of 2021, there were just 383 homes for sale, which translates to buyer demand stripping through the available supply in just two weeks.  At the close of this March, there were 562 homes on the market, a big improvement, but that number is still way off the 5-year average of 982 homes for sale in a typical March.  New listings were flat compared to last year with 948 new homes coming onto the market in March with most of those cycling off before the close of the month.  There were 944 new listings last March so the market saw a less than 1% increase.  New pendings were down nearly 10%, with 795 ratified contracts this March compared to 883 last March. 

FAAR Board Member Carrie Danko sees the impact this market is having on buyers regularly in her real estate practice.  “The good news in the market is that there seems to be more homes for my buyers to see. The bad news is there continues to be a large pool of buyers competing over the same listings. Great buyers with exceptional credit and money saved to achieve their dream of homeownership are competing with 10, 20, and even 30 offers! That, coupled with the rising interest rates, is certainly creating discouragement.  Setting expectations for prospective buyers and a little bit of patience are key in this competitive market.”

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