It’s a world of salespeople – Virginia Business

The residential real estate market is heating up


September 29, 2021


Courtney mabeus

Sandra Hood finally went on a well-deserved vacation in mid-August.

Despite this, Hood, the manager of Coldwell Banker Traditions at Newport News and president of the Virginia Peninsula Association of Realtors, took advantage of a rainy morning at the beach to open her laptop and work.

“It’s the toughest market I’ve ever been in,” says Hood, who has worked in the residential real estate industry for 15 years.

More than 18 months after COVID-19 The pandemic has disrupted most industries, Hampton Roads realtors say they are having their busiest year ever, with some running a marathon at almost a sprinter’s pace to keep pace. Despite small signs that segments of the market are cooling, they say they expect the current seller’s market to continue through 2022.

Inventories on Hampton Roads remain tight, forcing median home selling prices in Hampton Roads to rise to $ 300,000 – from $ 290,000 two months earlier – proof that demand still exceeds supply, according to a market summary Real Estate Information Network Inc. (REIN), the multiple listing service that covers Williamsburg east to Virginia Beach and south across the North Carolina border.

As active registrations increased month over month this summer – 4,220 in June and 4,621 in July – still lower than last year, while there were 5,846 and 5,576 dwellings listed in June and July 2020, respectively. Residences spent an average of 51 days on the market in June 2020. That fell to 23 days in June and July 2021, according to REIN.

“This summer the market has slowed down a bit, and I think most of us agree with that because we need to breathe,” says Jeremy Caleb Johnson, agent at Long & Foster / Christie’s International Real Estate in Virginia Beach. .

Johnson, who is vice president of finance for the Hampton Roads Realtors Association, attributed the chill to families taking vacations and children returning to school.

“If I had a really great list and I put on the market in March of this year, I would like [have expected] it should be gone in about 24 to 48 hours, ”notes Johnson. “In some cases, we are seeing the same type of awesome and amazing listing in the market today and it lasts maybe a week to 10 days.

Low inventory and high demand can also fuel buyer fatigue. “I think a lot about buyers wrote a lot of offers and didn’t get them, and now they’re like, “Maybe this is not the time for us. Let’s sit down and look at the market, see if it drops at all, ”said Alan Thompson, part owner of Chesapeake-based Lucky Homes.

Real estate was seen as a vital industry in Virginia during the pandemic shutdown, which kept businesses going. Hood credits the area’s strong job market and military presence that the local residential real estate market busy. The combination of new people coming in the area and local vendors planning to stay in the area create another problem.

“You have to be really good at making your offers and people could have six, 10 refusals before they finally find housing, and a lot of people give up and stay where they are,” Hood says. “People who move to the area, they cannot give up. So this is a challenge.

The Hampton Roads residential market mirrors what’s happening in metropolitan areas across the country as COVID-19 reshapes conditions. Sellers receive list price offers without having to give in to repairs or inspections, and some buyers are moving away from offices now that they can work remotely.

Some homeowners have taken advantage of the low interest rates and refinanced themselves, Thompson says, while others who have received low offers in previous years are lucky.

“We reached out to each of these sellers and said, ‘Hey, if you ever wanna sell now is the time,’ and they sell and sell well,” said Thompson, who also chairs Hampton Roads real estate agents. . Resale advice of the association.

On the buyers’ side, some even buy houses on sight.

Thompson’s company worked remotely with a military family last year who were unable to travel to visit homes due to the pandemic.

“We sold it to them only by video, which is [nerve-racking] because basically we choose their home for them, ”he says. “We’ve never met these people at all, so it’s kinda scary.”

Cash also remains king. An Oceanfront home in Virginia Beach built in 2017 was put on the market this summer for $ 5.4 million and sold for $ 5.8 million to a cash buyer, Johnson said. “In every town in Hampton Roads, we see an inordinate number of cash buyers, which poses challenges for the stereotypical buyer with their mortgage.

Although all of the above factors create a difficult times for real estate agents and clients, Thompson says there has also been an influx of new realtors entering the field, perhaps attracted by job cuts in other industries and the possibility of quick sales. But in today’s market, he adds, having an experienced agent and lender can make a difference in negotiating and closing. “I think good agents do better because they excel in tough markets,” he says.

The frenzy and uncertainty of the market has taken its toll on buyers and sellers, and those working in the industry have absorbed some of that impact. Realtors say they have relied on supportive colleagues to step in when needed and encourage others to do the same.

“We are constantly affected by seasonal changes in real estate,” Hood says. “I think in the fall it will probably be a little slowdown. But I think the general state of the real estate economy is going to stay pretty much the same.

Related: Image of Commercial Real Estate in Hampton Roads

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