WAAR Housing Market Shows Increase in Home Values

WAAR Housing Market Shows Increase in Home ValuesHome values in the Williamsburg Area Association of REALTORS® quarterly housing market overview show home prices increasing over last year’s numbers. The report, provided by the Virginia Association of REALTORS®, reflects a median sales price of $393,243, more than $33,000 higher than a year ago. It is a nine percent increase over the first quarter of 2022.

The overview also shows the WAAR housing market is off to a slower start in 2023. Sales activity in the first quarter is back to 2019 levels, and homes are staying on the market about a week and a half longer on average. The WAAR footprint consists of homes in Williamsburg, James City County, Charles City County, York County and New Kent County.

There were 692 sales in the WAAR housing market in the first quarter of 2023, which is 175 fewer sales than this time last year, a 20% drop. This is the slowest first quarter the WAAR market has had since 2019, as rising interest rates and lack of inventory have cooled the market.

Sales activity in the region moderated in all three months of the quarter, which covers January through March. Statewide, total home sales were down 25% from the first quarter a year ago.

However, the supply of active listings continues to build in the WAAR footprint. There were 543 active listings on the market at the end of the first quarter, 141 more listings than a year ago, a 35% increase.

Prices climbed in some local markets while staying relatively flat in others.

Mortgage rates have been up and down so far in 2023.

In the third week of April, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 6.39%, up from 6.27% in the previous week, but down from 6.42% in the previous month. Mortgage rates started off the year trending down for much of January, then rose for February into March, and then back down again March through mid-April.

This volatility could continue in the coming months, though the longer-term trajectory is likely to be downward.