Is now a good time to sell a house in Williamsburg, VA or the surrounding areas? Determining the best time to sell your home depends on a number of personal and external factors. Here’s what you need to know about timing the sale of your home in Williamsburg.
The local real estate market in Williamsburg, VA
Williamsburg is a city in James City County, Virginia. Nicknamed “the Old Dominion”, Virginia is traditionally one of the stronger real estate markets in the nation. According to a sales report by Virginia REALTORS®, the statewide median home sales price hovered at $390,000 in April 2022, up $32,500 from April 2021 and up $100,000 from April 2018.
Homes also sold for 3.4% over list price on average. The average sold-to-list price ratio was about 100% in all price segments. Listings were also down in April 2022 with 11,991 homes for sale, down 11.6% from the year prior.
According to data from Redfin, home prices in Virginia were up 8.7% year-over-year in April 2022 as the number of homes sold decreased by 11.1% and the number of available homes for sale went down by 22.7%
Williamsburg is a relatively smaller housing market with a robust university population, a vibrant historic downtown, and tourist attractions that appeal to a wide range of buyers, including retirees and Millennials.
The city holds a unique place in American colonial history with non-profits like the The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation dedicated to preserving historical accounts, artifacts, and sites. It is also home to the Regional Department of Defense and The College of William & Mary, one of the leading public universities in the United States.
Despite being a smaller market, however, Williamsburg offers a wide range of property types. These include single-family homes, townhomes, and condos. Some of the most prevalent architectural types are Colonial, Contemporary, Ranch, Traditional, and Arts and Crafts. Vacant inland and waterfront lots are also available.
The most desirable homes are waterfront properties with beach access along the James River and Kingsmill Pond. Golf course properties are also in high demand. These properties tend to have four to five bedrooms with thousands of square feet of living space.
Is now a good time to sell a house? The best seasons for selling a property in Williamsburg, VA
According to Listwithclever.com,spring is generally the best time to sell real estate across the United States. The same goes for Williamsburg and other real estate markets in Virginia. Sellers will typically begin listing their homes in March and will continue to vet offers until about the first half of May.
That’s why buyers have a wider range of choices in the spring – housing inventory is at its highest during this time and buyers are more likely to find their dream home despite more competition in the market due to increased supply. Because of higher demand, it’s also the time of year when home prices tend to go up. This works in your favor as a seller. With more buyers in the market, the greater the chances of receiving a good offer on your home.
If you missed the spring season, you can still list your home in the summer. The uptick in supply will have gone down after the frenzy of the spring season, which means that you can take advantage of the drop in competition. Buyers will still be willing to head out and view properties because of pleasant weather during the summer.
With less competition in the market, motivated buyers will feel more comfortable about making an offer and entering negotiations without feeling like they have to overpay for a home. Families with children will also want to close the sale and move before school starts in the fall.
Selling a home in Williamsburg during the fall season can be a bit of a gamble but you can still swing market conditions in your favor. Listings that have been on the market for too long by fall will require most sellers to slash their asking prices as a result.
However, buyers tend to be suspicious of stale listings that did not receive offers during peak season. Your home can potentially stand out from the competition if it has been newly listed and photographed well for the fall.
The most desirable properties in the area would have sold in the spring or summer season, which means that your listing will face far less competition. Buyers with limited choices but who are nonetheless strongly motivated to purchase a home before winter are more likely to make an offer.
Personal factors affecting a home sale
Aside from market trends, there are also several personal factors that can affect your decision to sell. Regardless of market conditions, you may find yourself having to list your home due to life events such as childbirth, marriage, divorce, retirement, work relocation, medical issues, or a death in the family. These life events may create a sense of urgency in selling your home.
In the event that you may have to sell your home as soon as possible, your best course of action is to work with a real estate professional and practice due diligence. You will have to remain decisive and adaptable to market conditions no matter the season.
How the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic recovery has affected the housing market
Spring 2020 was a strong month for home sales in Williamsburg despite the coronavirus pandemic being in full swing. Restrictions forced many Americans to stay home, reminding them of the importance of having a suitable living space. Mortgage interest rates also plummeted, encouraging many renters to become homeowners. The local government also rolled out real estate tax relief programs to support existing homeowners in Williamsburg.
Housing supply decreased by 54% between June 2019 to June 2021. Home prices in Hampton Roads and across the United States have also increased significantly over the past year. High demand, low mortgage rates, and supply chain issues during the pandemic have created shortages in housing supply, which drove up home prices in Virginia.
As the world emerges from the pandemic, supply chain issues are expected to wane while the market ramps up home construction by about 10% compared to 2020. Real estate developers and investment firms like Capital Square have also acquired existing multi-family properties for renovation in hopes of reinvigorating Williamsburg’s housing stock.
According to local real estate experts however, Williamsburg’s housing supply will remain behind pre-pandemic levels and would likely take a few years to recover. This is largely due to the prices for raw materials being higher than they were pre-pandemic.
Why people are moving from big urban locations like New York, Washington, and California
Many professionals kept their remote and flexible work arrangements after as covid restrictions were lifted. Fewer people wanted to live in expensive and densely populated cities following the lockdown. Many also wanted to get away from cities that imposed high real estate taxes on property owners and sought markets that offered larger homes with plenty of outdoor space at relatively more affordable prices.
There have also been a substantial number of relocations from larger and more urbanized cities to smaller towns within Virginia. According to 2021 census estimates, the state’s suburban and exurban communities experienced the largest population growth while highly urbanized areas saw a steep decline in population between 2020 and 2021.
Additionally, several rural communities, particularly ones with mountain and coastal attractions saw significant population growth during the same time period.
The mass relocation of remote workers to smaller and more laid-back communities like Williamsburg presents many opportunities for sellers. In order to appeal to remote workers, sellers should be able to market their property and location in a way that reflects the lifestyle that these buyers want for themselves and their families.
Williamsburg as a Zoomtown
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 saw the rise of second home markets and “zoomtowns” that attracted an influx of remote workers during the pandemic. Zoomtowns refer to areas that have seen a remarkable increase in the number of residents who work remotely on a permanent basis. These towns typically have a vibrant outdoor culture and affordable housing markets with larger properties.
Although many employees initially started working remotely for health and safety reasons during the pandemic, an increasing number of companies are offering full-time and part-time remote work in response to employees’ preferences. Since many workers no longer have to rent near the office, they have more freedom to choose a location that better accommodates their budget and lifestyle.
In 2021, the Williamsburg City Council adopted a recovery plan to seize new opportunities as well as prepare for a post-pandemic reality. One of the City Council’s goals is to attract more remote workers and business startups with top employers like the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, William & Mary College, and Regional Defense Department.
The city also offers many career and business opportunities in tourism, education, and federal government, all of which have provided long-term economic stability to Williamsburg. Although tourism and education experienced operational disruptions during the pandemic, both industries began rebounding in mid-2021 and are expected to make a full recovery.
The influx of new residents can potentially create new demand for housing in Williamsburg. This makes it a good time to sell your home to either a buyer in search of a suitable home or a property investor who wants to capitalize on this trend.
How rising interest rates will affect the housing market
As the economy emerges from the pandemic, the number of home sales in Virginia decreased year-over-year for five consecutive months in 2022. According to Norada Real Estate Investments, the slowdown in home sales is partially caused by buyers’ reluctance as a result of soaring home prices, inflation, and rising mortgage rates.
Industry experts believe that housing demand in Virginia will decrease in the coming year as a result of rising interest rates, which will slow price growth. According to the Virginia Association of REALTORS®, mortgage rates are expected to increase by about 4% by the end of 2022. Home prices are expected to increase by roughly 4% this year. Despite slow price growth, however, higher mortgage rates and home prices will still be an obstacle for many buyers.
So is now a good time to sell a house? If you’re serious about selling, you might have to list your home before further mortgage and interest rate hikes dissuade more buyers from entering the market.
The importance of working with the right real estate professional when selling your home
There are several benefits to working with a real estate company that specializes in home sales in Williamsburg and the surrounding communities:
- Professional advice – A real estate agent will tell you if this is now a good time to sell a house. They will offer professional advice based on relevant market data and research. Their knowledge of the local market combined with real world experience will help you determine the best time to sell your property.
- Reliable service – From pricing your home correctly to gaining maximum exposure for your listing, there are many challenges in the selling process. It helps to have a reliable partner who has the knowledge and compassion to help you through it.
- Negotiation skills – You must be prepared to vet offers and negotiate with buyers, no matter the temperature of the market. If you don’t have prior experience in real estate negotiations, an agent will step in to protect your interests. They will assert your terms for the sale while keeping things amicable with the other party.
- Stress reduction – Selling a home can get stressful no matter how much you prepare. Working with a real estate expert can help ease the pressure and allow you to focus on the other areas of your life while waiting to sell your home.
Choose a global brand power with local expertise
If you’re ready to sell your home, contact us, Coldwell Banker Traditions, at 757.291.6981. You can also email us here. We are a residential and property management real estate company specializing in luxury homes, gated communities, golf properties, and waterfront properties in Williamsburg. Our team has been providing real estate services since 1885. Get in touch with us for professional assistance today.