Fed’s survey examines state’s residential housing market

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and Virginia Association of REALTORS® are working together to gain perspective on Virginia’s housing market.
A majority of Virginia Realtors indicated that housing market conditions were slightly or significantly better in the first quarter of 2012, according to the survey released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Nearly 60 percent of respondents also indicated that customer traffic was slightly or significantly higher.
The survey, conducted in partnership with Virginia Association of Realtors®, focused on the state of the residential housing market in Virginia and how these conditions changed during the first quarter of 2012.
“The residential housing market has clearly not recovered fully,” commented Fed regional economist Andy Bauer. “According to the survey respondents, a number of factors are still negatively impacting the market, including high inventory levels in most areas of the state, except in Northern Virginia.”
“While the industry is not in complete recovery yet, we are seeing a brighter picture,” said VAR President, Trish Szego.
“Inventory and appraisals are still a challenge in some areas, but traffic and overall sales are picking up rapidly,” Szego explained. “As markets improve, so does the confidence of consumers.”

Highlights include:

• 60 percent of respondents indicated that housing market conditions improved in the
first quarter of 2012.
• First-time homebuyers represented more than half of homebuyers in the market.
• Activity was mostly in the mid-range priced homes although 39 percent of
respondents reported that purchases were in the lower-end segment of the market.
• Inventory conditions varied considerably with a significant number of respondents
indicating that inventory levels were too high and a significant number indicating they
were too low. (see regional breakouts in report.)
• Distressed homes are a still a big factor weighing on the market, according to 40
percent of the respondents.
• Overall, 51 percent of the survey respondents’ outlook for the housing market
improved since the beginning of 2012.

The full report as well as regional data can be found HERE.

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