Jan 2, 2024 - Real Estate

Richmond's bumpy real estate year

Data: Redfin; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Redfin; Chart: Axios Visuals

High mortgage rates all but froze the U.S. housing market last year, Axios' Sami Sparber writes.

Why it matters: The "lock-in effect" is real. As one real estate agent put it, 2023 was "the year your first home accidentally became your forever home."

Driving the news: The number of Richmond-area listings available to buy has been dropping steadily since 2019, per the latest Redfin data.

Meanwhile, prices kept climbing, hitting $368,750 in October, lower than the national median of $413,874, but roughly $130,00 higher than the median sales price at the start of 2019, per Redfin.

Zoom out: Across the country, it got even harder for first-timers to make the leap to homeownership last year.

Yes, but: There is hope ahead. If the economy is steady, rates could land around 6%. If the economy stumbles, mortgage rates could fall more significantly, says Greg McBride, Bankrate's chief financial analyst, Axios' Brianne Crane reports.

  • No one can say with certainty just how much mortgage rates will change because they are impacted by inflation and the Federal Reserve.
  • Any change likely won't bring down prices much, but it could be enough to motivate folks to sell.
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