Parts of the Richmond region saw an increase in median sale price in April, according to the Long & Foster Real Estate Market Minute report. Richmond City saw the highest jump with a 15% increase, followed by Hanover County with 13%. The number of homes sold in the Richmond region varied last month, though it increased by 5% in Chesterfield County and 1% in Richmond City. Active inventory fell across the region, with the exception of Richmond City which experienced a 3% increase in homes available for sale.
Despite struggles with inventory, rising building costs, and fluctuations in the economy, many people continue to feel positive about the housing market, said Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate.
“In my career, I’ve never seen an inventory shortage last so long, but our agents still feel good about the current market, and there are a lot of positive indicators,” Scott said. “Consumer confidence remains high despite the economic ups and downs, and consumers are really weathering that storm.”
Those indicators include high list versus sale price ratios, and relatively low days on market averages. People should keep in mind that each market has its own sweet and sour spots, Scott said.
While some tariffs on products from Canada and Mexico have been lifted, builders are still struggling with the tariff on Canadian lumber, and new tariffs on products from China will continue to add to their costs.
“The bottom line is that the cost of building will go up, which is not what we need,” Scott said. “It adds to the already existing challenge of builders not meeting market demand for entry-level homes.” Generally though, consumers purchasing new construction homes won’t let it impact their choice to buy, and the National Association of Realtors predicts that new home sales will reach a 12-year high in 2019.
While many may assume that they don’t need a real estate professional to purchase a new home, Scott disagrees. “It’s more critical than ever to work with an agent when buying a new construction home,” he said. “Builders’ work isn’t always perfect, and the builder’s sales staff is representing the builder. You still need that representation to look out for you and your best interests.”