The Hampton Roads region once again experienced an increase in median sale price and units sold in September, according to the Long & Foster Real Estate Market Minute Report.
Both Hampton City and Newport News City saw a 20% incline in sale price, followed by 15% increases in both Norfolk City and Virginia Beach City. Units sold increased across the region with Chesapeake City leading the way with a significant 51% uptick compared to the same time last year. Inventory continued to drop region-wide and homes sold quickly with the number of days on market ranging from 27 to 40.
Historically, the uncertainty of an election year creates fear and a decline in consumer confidence, causing fewer people to buy homes – but this year everything is different. “The usually strong spring real estate market shifted to summer and is now extending into fall,” said Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “The strength of low interest rates is stronger than concerns over the election.”
When asked to provide advice to homebuyers in this multiple offer environment, Scott offered several effective strategies for navigating our current hot real estate market. “Be ready to buy, don’t play games, use a lender like Prosperity Home Mortgage to get an underwritten pre-approved loan without a property, be prepared to pay over asking price, be ready for the inspection process to be less robust than it’s been in the past, bring your highest and best offer first,” said Scott. “And you need a great Long & Foster agent to represent you.”
Scott added the pandemic and telework capability are causing consumers to think about travel and vacation very differently and there’s been a shift in buying patterns. “COVID-19 has caused everyone to reflect on their lives,” said Scott. “With the stock market high, interest rates low, and the ability to telework several days a week, there’s a shift to buying a bigger house further away from the office, such as at the beach and using it as a vacation home as well as a primary residence.”