Editorial – Real estate market still favors sellers

Published 8:02 pm Friday, August 18, 2023

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To the surprise of no one looking for a home to buy, Tidewater residential real estate remains a seller’s market.

The median sales price (MSP) of homes sold across the region for July was $340,000, the second-highest monthly MSP on record, according to the Real Estate Information Network, which tracks sales data throughout the region. While selling prices remain strong and inventory is slowly creeping up, pending sales and settled sales were down both month-over-month and year-over-year. 

“Despite pending sales and settled sales being lower than we might like them to be, it’s still a good time to sell a home and sellers are still in control,” said Jon McAchran of AtCoastal Realty and REIN board president. “Most homes are still selling for the list price, and most homes are still selling quickly.” 

McAchran said that at just 12 days, the median days on market (DOM) for homes sold last month was the same as it was in July 2022, and just one day higher than the DOM for July 2021, when the “pandemic” market was in full swing. 

Rising interest rates don’t seem to be a deterrent.

“The buyers are still out there and regardless of prices or mortgage rates or inflation, when they find a home they want they’re willing to move, and to move quickly,” he said. 

Other numbers of interest from REIN: 

  • Active residential listings for July were 3,452, up 2.55% from 3,366 in June but down 16.4% from 4,129 in July 2022.  
  • Pending sales stood at 2,265, down 10% from 2,517 in June and 15.4% from 2,777 in July 2022. 
  • Settled sales during the month were 2,316, down 13.2% from 2,667 in June and 20.4% from 2,909 in July 2022. 
  • A calculation called Month’s Supply of Inventory (MSI) for July was 1.54, up from 1.47 month over-month and from 1.37 year-over-year. MSI calculates how long there would be homes on the market if no new inventory was added. July’s 1.54 is the highest the MSI has been in the region since November 2020. 
  • Median days on market (DOM) for residential listings was 12, up one day from 11 in June and the same as in July 2022. 
  • Residential new construction sold in the Multiple Listing Service during the month was 202, compared to 257 last month and 237 last year, suggesting demand for more construction.

As builders answer the call, it’s sure to add to the already-tense debate over residential development in growing communities like Suffolk, where many believe that road infrastructure is failing to keep pace with rooftops.