The weather might be cooling off, but local home prices certainly are not. The region’s median sold price was up nearly 4% in September coming in at $435,000 compared to $420,000 last September. Volume of sales continues its downward trend posting a nearly 17% decline from last year, with approximately $207.4 million in sales this September compared to $249.1 million during the same period last year. High prices and lack of inventory continue to depress demand with units sold down another 21% this September with 552 homes sold last year compared to 435 homes sold this year.
“The Fredericksburg area real estate market remains subject to various external factors, with interest rates being a prominent influence,” states FAAR Board of Director LeAnn Black. “We are seeing a marginal uptick in the number of days properties spend on the market and this presents a favorable window of opportunity for homebuyers. They aren’t merely searching for any home; they are seeking move-in-ready properties and are often willing to pay a premium for such convenience.”
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, remained similar to last year. Houses were on the market for an average of 25 days this September compared to 23 days last year.
Inventory was also down again in September, finishing out the month with 859 active listings compared to 1,038 last year, a 17% decline. New listings were down a whopping 37% from last year with 491 homes coming on the market in September of 2023 compared to 775 last year. New pending sales were down 26% in September, with 414 pending contracts compared to 557 last year. Mortgage interest rates approaching 8% have would-be sellers holding off, contributing to the already low housing inventory.
“Current homeowners have been benefiting from their prevailing low interest rates, prompting many to remain on the sidelines,” continues Black. “Home sellers could explore an alternative option: the average home equity in Virginia currently stands at approximately $147,000. Home prices in the area continue to rise steadily. By selling their current homes and utilizing their accrued equity to bolster their down payment on a new property, home sellers can potentially mitigate the impact of current interest rates. This strategic move could prove advantageous in navigating the evolving real estate landscape.”