The Hampton Roads region saw an increase in median sale prices in much of the area last month, including a 16% increase in Hampton City, according to the Long & Foster Real Estate Market Minute report. The region also experienced an upward tick in the number of units sold in two areas – Hampton City with a 25% increase, followed by a 10% increase in Newport News City. Active inventory continued to shrink in the region, with declines ranging from 28% in Norfolk City to 43% in Hampton City.
“In regard to the March market, units sold and inventory seem to be down in many places,” said Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. He adds that, “While typically each market has certain nuances that differentiate them from others, it seems that universally most markets were very similar last month.”
Across the board it appeared that everyone had a bad January, a good February and a bad March regarding real estate sales. However, Scott remains optimistic saying, “We simply have a lagging spring market. I don’t believe March is an indicator of how the market will remain, I’m positive April will be off the charts.”
Scott reminded everyone that the spring market is a fundamental seasonal trend that is dependent on a variety of factors, including weather, inventory and interest rates. With interest rates continuing to be low and other economic indicators being positive Scott estimated that the spring market will become fully activated in April and give us a robust real estate environment.
For those thinking of selling their homes, Scott highlighted things sellers need to keep in mind. “Firstly, sellers need to go to market in the best way they can – they had better declutter, stage and prepare,” he said.
“Secondly, with pricing and inventory being geographically specific, sellers need to engage with a real estate professional,” he said. Scott stressed the importance of knowing the market conditions both where the seller is currently located and where they plan to go.
Lastly, sellers need a good sense of where they’re going. With the market being the way it is, sellers need to be prepared to have an interim move. Scott said, “There’s no guarantee that the house you want is going to be ready when the house you sell is ready.” Sellers need to be prepared for situations where it’s possible that both of their transactions don’t quite line up.