Housing market causing headaches; local realtor weighs in

Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 6:31 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The housing market has created headaches over the last few years.

Between low inventory and high demand, prices have been skyrocketing for both buyers and renters.

“One common misconception is that there aren’t any houses for sale. What is actually happening is that there are probably more houses coming on the market, however, they are just going under contract really fast so there’s a high amount of demand,” said Mattias Clymer, president of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors.

The average price of a house has risen nearly 15% since February 2020.

“In February, it was about $287,950 which is about 14% higher compared to February 2020,” Clymer said. “Inventory levels were low as well in February down by 14%, the median days on the market was actually six days.”

The quick turnaround time makes it even harder for people who are looking to sell their house and buy and move into a new one at the same time.

“There’s definitely more buyers out there than there are sellers, if you are looking to list your house and buy a house that could be challenging as well because you have to figure out how to get into the house you want to be in you obviously don’t want to be left stranded so people that are able to buy a house without selling their house first tend to have it a little bit more easy,” Clymer said.

This market has led to people who would normally be buyers turning to renters, therefore driving up the cost of rent.

“We’re seeing some people that normally would be house buyers being forced into the rental market so there is definitely a high demand for rentals as well that is resulting in rent prices going up so that can be challenging as well for renters to find something that’s affordable, in good condition, in a good location,” Clymer said.

Some are concerned about another crash in the housing market, but Clymer said the way things are going, that won’t happen right now.

“It seems that we have such a high demand on all fronts at this point that it doesn’t really have the recipe to cause competition on this for buyers or for renters which would make the prices go down,” Clymer said.

For housing prices to start decreasing, the demand needs to drop.

”If things were to slow down I would imagine pricing would not be increasing by 15%, but I would imagine it wouldn’t crash and that’s probably more of the more realistic outcome for a change in the market is that things would kind of calm down, settle down,” Clymer said.

Clymer’s best advice for those looking to buy a home is to get pre-approved and start looking at potential houses the first two days they go on the market.

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