Willing sellers remain hard to find as the commonwealth’s real-estate market heads into its dormant period of the year, according to new data from the Virginia Realtors trade group.
The organization’s most recent monthly sentiment survey, conducted Oct. 25 to Nov. 2, shows both buyer and seller interest is tepid.
But more so on the seller side, where the overall activity level stood at 10 on a 0-to-100 scale.
That’s down from 13 the previous month, but seller activity has been limited all through the year. (The rating peaked, if that word can be used, at 19 in January.)
Only three percent of responding Realtors rated seller interest in their communities as “high” or “very high,” while 81 percent rated it “low” or “very low.”
On the buyer side, things were better but not much – the buyer activity index stood at 27 in the most recent data, down from 37 a month before and less than half the 2023 peak of 65 set in April.
Eleven percent of respondents rated buyer interest in their locales as “high” or “very high,” while 57 rated it “low” or “very low.”
Homes that found a purchaser during the month garnered, on average, two offers before one was accepted, down from 2.3 offers a month prior.
Figures were compiled from the responses of 694 member Realtors, including 473 who participated in at least one transaction over the preceding month.
The survey each month also asks respondents to guesstimate market conditions in their localities three months into the future – in the case of the early-November report, that would be the point in early 2024 when, in theory, the sluggish winter market should be making way for the more robust spring season.
Respondents expect seller interest to be higher than currently, but at 16 on the 0-to-100 scale are not expecting a glut of properties. Buyer interest is expected to be 26, down from 36 recorded a month before.
Forty-one percent of respondents anticipate sales prices will be lower in three months’ time than today – which is not atypical as the winter market arrives – while 25 percent think prices will rise and 31 percent believe they will stay the same.
Full details can be found at www.virginiarealtors.org under “Research.”
The monthly survey is not a scientific sampling of the trade organization’s membership, but the response level is high enough for it to be a good snapshot of sentiment, officials say.