RICHMOND, Va. — While the pandemic has made it more difficult for people to buy a home in the Richmond area, real estate experts said the market has improved over the last six months, and now is the time to start looking.
Christine Mottley, real estate agent with One South Realty Group, said the market is still a seller's market, but now is a much better time to buy with interest rates being low and less competition.
"I would say lock in now. You know the inventory, we don't see it slowing down anytime soon," Mottley said.
Mottley added that homes are now being sold at about 1% above the asking price, compared to the 3% the market saw earlier in the pandemic.
Mottley said Richmond is now seeing more homes available on the market than in the spring, with millennials being the largest group looking to buy.
"It might be cheaper to buy a home believe it or not, so yeah, depends on your situation," Mottley said. "If you're only gonna be in the area, short term, of course, you know, you might want to rent, but I can tell you right now the rental rates are definitely increased quite a bit."
Build times for newly-constructed homes can still come with a lag, as contractors are still facing labor shortages and supply issues.
Mottley said most homes that are somewhat affordable, less than $400K, are townhomes and condos. Single-family homes under $400K are almost nonexistent or are in outlying areas, according to her.
But, if you're debating on whether to rent or buy a home, or even looking for a single-family home around the $250,000 or less range, Mottley said it may be better to buy, because of the increase in rental prices.
Mottley believes that the market will not change much in the next six months. "A rise in foreclosure is unlikely since the level of equity in homes has increased so much," Mottley said.
The Richmond Metro has been one of the fastest growing regions in the entire nation. Over the last 18 months, its grown at roughly three times its normal rate.