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2024 Real Estate Market Kicks Off with a Bang

The local housing market started the year out with a bang, racking up year-over-year increases in units sold and total dollar volume for the first time in nearly two years.  January closed with approximately $153 million in total sales volume, an almost 8% increase since last January.  Sold volume was fueled by a nearly 7% year-over-year increase in units sold, coming in at 324 homes sold this January compared to 303 last year.  This is the first time the market has seen an annual increase in units sold since April of 2022.  Median price increased a modest 3% coming in at $432,000 this January compared to $419,900 last year. 

“Our region is still experiencing limited inventory, and the tension between low buyer demand and even lower seller activity is keeping upward pressure on home prices,” comments FAAR Board of Director Meghan Kala.  “Median home prices in every locale continue to rise and our fringe areas are no exception. Buyers should look at these year-over-year prices as an indication that ‘the bubble isn’t going to burst’.”

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 stayed nearly static from last year, going from 38 days last January to 39 days this year.  Nearly a third of homes on the market sold in 10 days or less. 

Active listings, new listings, and new pending transactions were all down in January with just 634 homes on the market at the close of the month, the lowest since February of 2022.  New pending sales were down more than 17% with 383 homes under contract compared to 464 last January.  New listings stayed static from last year continuing the trend of diminishing new product coming onto the market.  The region saw 476 homes listed last January compared to 467 this year, a nearly 2% decline.

Sellers continue to sit on the sidelines to see what mortgage interest rates are going to do.  Kala comments, “As growth and development in the Fredericksburg region continues, the parallel that has consistently remained the same is the immediate need for homes. Sellers could be sitting on a mountain of equity and are ready to downsize, but they are uncertain if the time is right to list. The question they may ask themselves is – where will I go? As a result, we may see an increase of home sale contingencies in transactions. We are still experiencing multiple offer scenarios, which should encourage sellers who are getting ready to put their home on the market. Many buyers have been enjoying the security of contingencies in the slower market, but those days may be numbered if rates decline. Attainability, especially for first time home buyers, could prove to be challenging if they continue to wait.”

 

#MemberMonday Meet REALTOR® Melissa Longton

#MemberMonday Meet REALTOR® Melissa Longton

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Member Spotlight feature allows members of the community to get to know each other before working with each other in a transaction. Each member answers a series of questions to reveal more about themselves as people.  It is FAAR’s hope that learning about an individual may spark connections that blossom via email, phone conversations or in-person meetings at events and classes.

Name
Melissa Longton

Hometown
Clifton Park, New York

Current Location
Stafford, Virginia

Title
Realtor® & Dog Lover

Why do you love working in real estate?
I love working in real estate because it’s all about connecting with people, understanding their dreams, and helping them achieve homeownership goals. The joy of turning those aspirations into reality is what makes every day in this field truly fulfilling.

Favorite Work Story
I have a few, The really good ones are Top Secret… I like to refer to them as Mis-Ådventures

What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m most proud of seamlessly assisting numerous families in relocating, ensuring a smooth transition during a crucial time in their lives. Helping them settle into new homes and communities brings me immense satisfaction, and it’s a privilege to play a role in such significant life changes.

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time? 
I’m a passionate advocate for small business owners and locally owned establishments. Devoting time to volunteering at our local food bank is something I hold dear. Additionally, for the past five years, I’ve been contributing to my clients’ chosen charities on their behalf, fostering a sense of community and giving back.

Fun Fact
A fun fact about me is my deep affection for animals, particularly dogs. My 5-pound teacup Yorkie holds a special place in my heart and is my cherished best friend #justfrankiebeingfrank

Melissa Longton headshot
#MemberMonday Meet REALTOR® Bethany Neher

#MemberMonday Meet REALTOR® Bethany Neher

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Member Spotlight feature allows members of the community to get to know each other before working with each other in a transaction. Each member answers a series of questions to reveal more about themselves as people.  It is FAAR’s hope that learning about an individual may spark connections that blossom via email, phone conversations or in-person meetings at events and classes.

Name
Bethany Neher

Hometown
Hampton

Current Location
Fredericksburg

Title
REALTOR®

Why do you love working in real estate?
I love meeting and helping new people. I love the diversity in the day to day hustle of this career.

What are you most proud of in your career?
My career is only just beginning but so far, I am proud of how quickly I am learning and feeling good about my start. I have a great team behind me, I have my first client which happens to be a million-dollar client and I am looking forward to everything I am going to accomplish in this career.

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time? 
I don’t like to stick to one cause necessarily. I like to pick a couple every year that I dedicate my time to. So far this year I have connected with a woman that runs an animal rescue and I plan to devote a lot of time to her and her cause in the coming months.

Tina Keene Exit Elite Realty

#MemberMonday Meet REALTOR® Kendric Walpole

#MemberMonday Meet REALTOR® Kendric Walpole

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Member Spotlight feature allows members of the community to get to know each other before working with each other in a transaction. Each member answers a series of questions to reveal more about themselves as people.  It is FAAR’s hope that learning about an individual may spark connections that blossom via email, phone conversations or in-person meetings at events and classes.

Name
Kendric Walpole

Hometown
Fredericksburg, Virginia

Current Location
Fredericksburg, Virginia

Title
Realtor®

Why do you love working in real estate?
I love working in real estate, because it gives me the opportunity to help people I just met. This industry has us constantly getting to know numerous people throughout a transaction. However, I most like the ability to help first time home buyers navigate through the process. It is always a privilege to share in their excitement!

What are you most proud of in your career?
I am most proud of the personal development that this career has provided. Being a Realtor forces an individual to be proactive rather than just reactive. You also get to learn so much throughout your experiences, whether interpersonal communication skills or landscaping techniques to divert water from a house. There is just so much growth to be had.

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time? 
Currently I am volunteering as the Community Services Manager with FAAR’s Young Professionals Network (YPN). I spent many years of my life growing up doing community service activities such as cleaning the river, refurbishing picnic areas at local battlefields, food drives, and more. I am glad that I have the opportunity, and help, to dive into that again with YPN!

Fun Fact
A fun fact about me is that I used to be a professional performer in live theater. I sang, danced, and acted for over 10 years of my life. Though I haven’t done anything like that in a few years, the real estate profession does give the schedule flexibility to perform. There may be something like that again for me in the future.

Tina Keene Exit Elite Realty

2023 Housing Market Plagued by Low Inventory, Volatile Interest Rates

The local housing market finished the year with low inventory, high prices, and falling demand, trends that started in 2022 and accelerated throughout 2023.  “The real estate market in the Fredericksburg area saw a continuation of low inventory issues in 2023,” states 2023 FAAR President Randy Walther.  “The start of the year held hope that a stable market would take hold but rising interest rates quickly changed that outlook.”

The year closed with a total sold dollar volume of $2.64 billion which represents a more than 21% decrease over the year-end $3.3 billion total for 2022.  While prices were up in 2023, the pace of increases moderated with a nearly 4% year-over-year increase in median price, going from $425,600 in 2022 to $439,900 in 2023.  The trend of decreasing units sold continued to accelerate last year, finishing out 2023 with 5,531 transactions compared to 7,284 units sold in 2022.  This is down from a recent high in 2021 of 9,266 units sold.  Stafford and Spotsylvania counties saw volume reductions that accounted for nearly all of the 1,700 fewer units sold in 2023 versus 2022, but despite falling sales, prices continued to rise in both places.  Spotsylvania County posted a 2023 median price of $430,000 while Stafford County hit the $500,000 mark.

“As the year progressed, sellers were less inclined to give up a low interest rate loan if they had to assume a new loan at a higher rate,” continues Walther.  “Even with higher rates, houses did not sit on the market for an extended period if they were move-in ready. A large portion of buyers brought funds to the table that allowed them to buy down a new loan or in many cases, they paid cash from the sale of a previous home.”

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 35%, going from just 20 days in 2022 up to 27 days in 2023.  However, the largest portion of homes still sold very quickly, with 2,684 homes flying off the market in 10 days or less. 

December closed the year with a modest year-over-year decline in total sold volume and a modest decline in units sold.  Prices saw a small increase of 2% going from $415,000 in 2022 to $425,000 in December of 2023.  Orange County was a noticeable outlier in December, posting big gains in units sold and median price.  Orange saw its median price increase nearly 28% last month, going from $305,000 in December of 2022 to $389,000 in December of 2023.  Units sold also increased nearly 12% with 5 more homes sold this past December than in 2022. 

December of 2023 also saw the number of active listings plummet nearly 20% from December of 2022, with just 660 homes on the market at the turn of the year compared to 819 last year.  “Currently the ebb and flow of the real estate market has turned to a more predictable state,” comments Walther.  “Buyers are seeing a drop in rates and sellers can make plans for the next phase of their lives. While the days of rock bottom rates are gone, they are now trending down again from 2023. As a result, the expectation is that 2024 will see more improvement in the market. The Fredericksburg region is growing and housing needs will remain a concern. This is especially true in the entry level market.”

Realtors® expect similar market dynamics in 2024 as would-be sellers remain on the sidelines enjoying low mortgage interest rates.  Walther advises that “there is no time like the present” as prices are not expected to change significantly anytime soon.  “Having a qualified partner in this transaction will result in the confidence that buyers and sellers have made the right decision,” advises Walther.

 

FAAR Welcomes the 2024 Association Leadership Team

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) celebrated the installation of its 2024 Board of Directors at Stevenson Ridge on December 7, 2023. The Association under the leadership of 2023 President Carol Sondrini of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty served more than 1,800 Realtors® working throughout the region with top-notch educational offerings, wide ranging networking opportunities, and strong advocacy to protect the real estate industry.

Sondrini presented the President’s Award to Immediate Past President Deb Ellis with Coldwell Banker Elite, thanking Ellis for her guidance and inspiring actions as a leader.

Looking ahead to 2024, incoming President Randy Walther of Nest Realty kicked off his year in style with a dazzling fireworks display, symbolizing his theme for the coming year, “FAAR-works”.  Walther expressed his gratitude for the trust and confidence placed in him by the FAAR membership. He emphasized the importance of collaboration, innovation, and shared efforts within the real estate community to achieve success in the coming year.  The highlight of the evening was the captivating fireworks show by Randy’s son, Jake Walther, commemorating the 2023 volunteers and cheering the 2024 Leadership Team on into the new year.

Walther’s leadership team was installed by 2024 Virginia Realtors® President, Tom Campbell.  Walther was installed as President by his broker, Sarah Stelmok of Nest Realty.

The 2024 FAAR Leadership team is:

President: Randy Walther, Nest Realty
President-Elect: Lauren Tate, Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Vice President: Matthew Rathbun, Coldwell Banker Elite
Secretary: Gary Gardiner Jr., Coldwell Banker Elite
Treasurer: Tamar Myers-Moffatt, Samson Companies LLC
Immediate Past President: Carol Sondrini, BHHS PenFed Realty

Directors
LeAnn Black, 1st Choice Better Homes and Land, LC
Dawn Curry, Keller Williams Capital Properties
Abby Fitzsimmons, Coldwell Banker Elite
Dawn Josemans, Coldwell Banker Elite Property Management
Meghan Kala, Pathway Realty LLC
Denise Smith, Century 21 Redwood Realty
Affiliate Director Nick Bohn, Movement Mortgage

November sees same trends hold in local real estate market

As 2023 draws to a close, the Fredericksburg regional housing market is experiencing much of the same as the last few months. Prices continue to rise against a backdrop of falling demand, stubbornly low housing supply, and volatile interest rates. Total sold dollar volume fell nearly 14% in November, coming in at approximately $167.4 million in November 2023 compared to $193.5 million last year. Units sold were down nearly 13% year-over-year, with 412 homes transacted last November compared to 359 this year. Despite this, prices still rose nearly 4%, coming in at $439,900 compared to $424,715 last November.

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, was up about 7% with homes averaging 29 days on the market this November compared to 27 days last year.

Inventory continues to be a challenge with the number of active listings at the end of November at 815 compared to 974 last year. New listings were also down this month with just 384 new listings coming on the market compared to 537 last year, a nearly 30% drop. New pendings which indicates the pace of future sales remained almost static with 2 more pending sales this November compared to last year. November of 2022 saw 400 pending sales at the close of the month compared to 402 pending sales this November, a less than 1% increase.

“For the month of November, we saw falling interest rates and an increase in buyer activity,” states FAAR Board of Director Abby Fitzsimmons. “Buyers are able to negotiate a bit, especially if sellers are in a situation where they need to sell. On the listing side of things, days on market have increased but home values are holding steady due to a continuous lack of inventory. Thanksgiving begins the typical “holiday season” where the real estate market slows down. If interest rates continue on their downward slope, we will see what December will bring.”

Prices continue to rise despite falling demand in housing market

The regional median home price was up again in October, despite shrinking demand heading into the winter season.  The median sold price settled at $440,000 this month compared to $425,000 in October of 2022, representing a nearly 4% year-over-year increase.  Units sold were down nearly 20%, coming in at 410 this October compared to 506 units sold last year.  Total sold dollar volume was down nearly 19%, posting approximately $195.5 million in sales for October of 2023 compared to $240 million in sales last year. 

Spotsylvania County was especially notable in October posting its second highest median sold price on record.  The month saw prices soar to $470,000 compared to $400,000 in October of last year.  This price was eclipsed only by August of this year when median price rose to $472,500. 

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, was static compared to last October, coming in at 26 days.  Continued constrained supply is keeping days on market down since there isn’t much out there for active buyers to choose from.    

Inventory was also down again in October, finishing out the month with 900 active listings compared to 1,012 last year, an 11% decline.  New listings were down nearly 20% from last October with 514 homes coming on the market in 2023 compared to 638 last year.  New pending sales were down 10% in October, with 424 pending contracts compared to 470 last year.  Inventory continues to be challenged as homeowners experience the “lock-in” effect of having very low existing mortgage rates.  In the last 10 years, the average rate of mortgages in the Commonwealth fell from 5.2% to 3.8% as people bought homes or refinanced existing mortgages when rates sank to their lowest in history.  As rates have increased over the last year, there is a huge delta between what mortgage rate homeowners have right now and what rate they would get if they moved.  This delta locks them into their current properties as they wait for rates to come down before considering a move.

The tide may be turning on increasing mortgage rates as the Mortgage Bankers Association came out with their 2024 projections showing great news for 2024.  “The mortgage rate is predicted to be in the low 6% range by the fourth quarter of 2024,” states FAAR Board of Director Sherrie Shaw.  “Even better, 2025 rates are projected to be in the mid-5% range, which should really help in getting sellers off the sidelines.”  A moderation in mortgage rates will help motivate move-up buyers to list their homes and ease the inventory crunch that has plagued the market for years now.

 

2023 Election Night Wrap Up

Election 2023 saw many successes for Democrats across the state and a change in party control of the House of Delegates.  Many were calling this election a referendum on the performance of Governor Glenn Youngkin and if that’s true, the results indicate that about half the population isn’t thrilled.  Democrats retained their control of the State Senate and also swept away the narrowly-held Republican majority in the General Assembly.

The State Senate stands at 21 Democrats and 18 Republicans with 1 race currently too close to call.  That seat has the Republican challenger edging out the Democratic incumbent by just 20 votes.  The General Assembly stands at 51 Democrats and 48 Republicans with 1 race currently too close to call.  That seat has the incumbent Republican up by less than 200 votes.

The Virginia legislature remains deeply divided and both Democrats and Republicans will have to work together to get anything accomplished for the remaining 2 years of Gov. Youngkin’s term.  Our local races were a mixed bag with R’s and D’s both picking up seats and a long-time incumbent friend of FAAR losing in Stafford County.  The charts below indicate the outcomes of races in the FAAR service territory.*denotes incumbent

 

Virginia House of Delegates FAAR Outcome
HD-23 Candi Mundon King*, D WINNER James Tully, R

 

VAR endorsed Delegate King Win
HD-62 Sara Racliffe, D Nick Freitas*, R
WINNER
VAR endorsed Delegate Freitas Win
HD-63   Phil Scott*, R
WINNER
VAR endorsed Delegate Scott Win
HD-64

(open seat)

Leonard Lacey, D Paul Milde, R
WINNER
VAR endorsed Paul Milde Win
HD-65

(open seat)

Josh Cole, D
WINNER
Lee Peters, R No endorsement  
HD-66 Mark Lux, D Bobby Orrock*,R WINNER VAR endorsed Delegate Orrock Win
HD-67 John Smith, D Hillary Pugh Kent, R
WINNER
VAR endorsed Hillary Pugh Kent Win
Virginia State Senate

 

SD-25 Jolicia Ward, D Richard Stuart*, R
WINNER
VAR endorsed Senator Stuart Win

 

SD-27

(open seat)

Joel Griffin, D

Monica Gary, I

Tara Durant, R
WINNER
VAR endorsed Tara Durant Win
SD-28 Jason Ford Bryce Reeves*, R
WINNER
VAR endorsed Senator Reeves Win
SD-29 Jeremy McPike*, D
WINNER
Nikki Baldwin, R VAR endorsed Senator McPike Win
   
City of Fredericksburg  
At-Large Mayor Kerry Devine, D
WINNER
  Uncontested race, verbal endorsement Win
At-Large Will Mackintosh,
Jannan Holmes
WINNERS
Matt Kelly* FAAR endorsed Will Mackintosh with a $1,000 RPAC contribution

Declined to endorse for additional candidates

Win

 

                                                   King George County
At-Large

(Open seat)

David Sullins
WINNER
Carrie Gonzalez FAAR endorsed Carrie Gonzalez with a $1,000 RPAC contribution Loss
Dahlgren

(Open seat)

Bill Davis
WINNER
Robert Vanatta No endorsement N/A
James Madison

(Open seat)

Edwin Frank
WINNER
  Uncontested, no endorsement N/A
Orange County  
District 2

(Open seat)

Ed Van Hoven
WINNER
D.J. Anglin No endorsement N/A
District 3

 

Keith Marshall
WINNER
Ellen Pitera No endorsement N/A

 

District 4 Crystal Hale
WINNER
Brit Lewis

Ryan Soon

Laird Knights

No endorsement N/A
District 5

(Open seat)

Bryan Nicol
WINNER
Anne LeHuray FAAR endorsed Bryan Nicol with a $1,000 RPAC contribution Win
Spotsylvania County  
Chancellor

(Open seat)

Gerald Childress
WINNER
Micheal Martin FAAR endorsed Gerald Childress with $1,000 in RPAC funds Win
Courtland

(Open seat)

Drew Mullins
WINNER
Michael Bush No endorsement N/A

 

Livingston Jake Lane*
WINNER
  Uncontested, no endorsement N/A
Salem Roy Searles Deborah Frazier*
WINNER
FAAR endorsed Deborah Frazier with $2,500 in RPAC funds Win
Stafford County  
George Washington Deuntay Diggs
WINNER
Tom Coen* FAAR endorsed Tom Coen with a $2,500 campaign contribution Loss
Griffis-Widewater Tinesha Allen*
WINNER
Jennifer Harper FAAR did not endorse N/A
Rock Hill Crystal Vanuch*
WINNER
Howard Rudat FAAR endorsed Howard Rudat with a $2,500 RPAC contribution Loss
Commissioner of the Revenue Scott Mayausky*
WINNER
Lorena Bruner FAAR endorsed with a $1,000 RPAC contribution Win
Caroline County
Bowling Green Jeff Sili*
WINNER
  Uncontested, no endorsement N/A
Madison Clay Forehand*
WINNER
  Uncontested, no endorsement N/A

 

Mattaponi Floyd Thomas*
WINNER
Milton Bush No endorsement N/A
Porty Royal Nancy Long*
WINNER
  Uncontested, no endorsement N/A
Reedy Church Reggie Underwood*
WINNER
  Uncontested, no endorsement N/A

 

*denotes incumbent

 

 

 

2023 Cereal Drive Results

2023 Cereal Drive Results

REALTORS® and Affiliates members did a tremendous job of seeking out cereal this year! Members and friends ended up collecting 18,639 boxes of shelf-stable food for our community.

Who won?

Affiliate collecting the most boxes

Nationwide Mortgage Bankers – 400 boxes

Most Cereal Per Agent

1st Choice Better Homes and Land – 4,443 boxes 

Most Improved

Next Home Stellar Realty – 440 boxes 

Runner-ups Most Cereal

Century 21 New Millennium Fredericksburg – 5,137 boxes

Grand Prize

Long and Foster Fredericksburg – 5,260 boxes

 

Thank you also to these cereal collectors!

Century 21 Redwood – Locust Grove/ Fredericksburg

Coldwell Banker Elite Downtown

Cropper Home Sales

Ulta Realty

Mark Geslock

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Pen Fed Realty Stafford

Long and Foster Lake Anna

Coldwell Banker Elite Stafford

Keller Williams Capital Properties Fredericksburg

Holt for Homes

Century 21 Redwood

Next Home Stellar Realty

Press Releases

2024 Real Estate Market Kicks Off with a Bang

The local housing market started the year out with a bang, racking up year-over-year increases in units sold and total dollar volume for the first time in nearly two years.  January closed with approximately $153 million in total sales volume, an almost 8% increase...

2023 Housing Market Plagued by Low Inventory, Volatile Interest Rates

The local housing market finished the year with low inventory, high prices, and falling demand, trends that started in 2022 and accelerated throughout 2023.  “The real estate market in the Fredericksburg area saw a continuation of low inventory issues in 2023,” states...

FAAR Welcomes the 2024 Association Leadership Team

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) celebrated the installation of its 2024 Board of Directors at Stevenson Ridge on December 7, 2023. The Association under the leadership of 2023 President Carol Sondrini of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed...

November sees same trends hold in local real estate market

As 2023 draws to a close, the Fredericksburg regional housing market is experiencing much of the same as the last few months. Prices continue to rise against a backdrop of falling demand, stubbornly low housing supply, and volatile interest rates. Total sold dollar...

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