About a month ago a survey was sent out to Virginia Realtors giving them the opportunity to share what they are experiencing first hand, in the field regarding the housing market.

The survey, conducted in partnership with The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, focused on the state of the residential housing market in Virginia and how those conditions changed during the first quarter of 2013.

About 70 percent of Virginia Realtors say that housing market conditions were slightly or significantly better the in the first quarter of this year, and a similar share of respondents indicated that the inventory of housing was very low.

“These survey responses indicate that the housing market conditions have improved notably, compared to last year,” said Richmond Fed regional economist Andy Bauer.

“Overall market conditions, customer traffic, sales prices, inventories, and financing conditions showed improvement from last year’s survey,” Bauer said.  “Importantly, the inventory situation has turned with a large majority of respondents now reporting that inventories are low and that distressed properties are having less of an impact on home prices.”

Bauer also noted that underwriting and financing issues also showed improvement in the survey, with fewer respondents saying that buyers frequently experienced difficulty in those areas.

“A year ago at this time, Virginia was experiencing a housing market growth but calling it a recovery seemed to be premature, said VAR president, Mary Dykstra.  We are confident that the commonwealth is now in recovery and Virginia Realtors have provided a varied, but accurate picture of the housing market, in this survey.”

Highlights:

  • Housing market conditions improved with 71 percent respondents indicating conditions were slightly or significantly better than last year – an improvement of 14 percentage points from last year’s survey.
  • Customer traffic is up with first-time home buyers constituting most of the traffic.
  • 60 percent of respondents say that median sales prices are up higher than the previous year.
  • The inventory picture changed notably since the last survey.  In the 2012 survey, 42 percent indicated that inventories were somewhat or very high while an equal percentage indicated that they were very low.  In the current survey, only 14 percent indicated that inventories were somewhat or very high while 69 percent indicated they were very low.
  • The percentage of respondents indicating that distressed homes greatly impacted prices declined this year from 41 to 18 percent.
  • Regional results summary and comparisons can be found on pages 5-6 and 8 of the report.  Also, be sure to check out the heat maps of your region. 

Check out the full report here.

Virginia Business story here.

Richmond Times Dispatch here.

Watch for WWBT 12 NBC to air a story Friday at 5pm.

…other regional media stories to come…