2019 4th Quarter Report

I know! You have been waiting for this since the New Year. Well, it is finally here. Let us take a quick look at what the housing market has done in to close out 2019.

We have to zoom out to begin though. We saw the national economy continue to be stable and strong. Job growth was positive and unemployment continued to be at historic lows. These almost certainly lead to a strong housing market at the national level. With that said, there is some slight trepidation as we are in an election year, and that can always have an impact on the economy and market. Forecasters though predict an ongoing upward trend, albeit slower than recently.

Unemployment Rate Decline
National Home Sales

Central Virginia continued to reflect, if not outperform the national economy. There continues to be moderate growth, and a ten year trend of job growth. In 2019, the 12,200 jobs were added to the region. The bulk of these were in the Leisure and Hospitality, Education and Health Services, and Financial Services sectors. The growth of these jobs is reflective, obviously, of the development around RVA. More dining, more entertainment, school divisions growing, and economic institutions expanding are where we are seeing the most growth in RVA. There is correlation with the housing market here.

Additionally, there was an increase in the building permits applied for across the region. 7,600 new permits were requested, the highest since 2007. 39% of these permit requests were for multi-family buildings. A multi-family unit would consist of 5 or more units. What does this say about development in Central Virginia? Drive around Richmond and you can see the answer. Growth continues and is anticipated. Head to Scott’s Addition and you can see this. It is also happening outside the city-limits. People are willing to sacrifice yards for location. They want to be closer to the city or in the city. These projects supply that demand.

Building Permits

On the note of supply and demand, let us take a look at the housing market itself. Closed sales in 2019 increased in 3 of the 4 quarters, with the 4th quarter being the best of the year. The year saw a 3.2% increase from 2018, and the 4th quarter itself climbed 9% from its predecessor. Again, what does this mean?

The market is strong and steady. Demand is high and pricing is in the wheelhouse of buyers. RVA saw a 10% increase, with Hanover being the biggest jumper with a 25% boost in closed sales. The Tri-Cities too had growth with a 9% increase as well.

Pending sales were up too. The 4th quarter of 2019 saw a 15% increase from the previous year, implying a positive start to 2020. Richmond City was up 20%, Chesterfield 13%, Prince George 18% and Petersburg 17%.

Sales Price

Price is reflective of this high demand. 2019 median sales price was $259,950 up 5.2%. The 4th quarter average price was up 5% to $298,270. The Tri-Cities too climbed with a a 10% increase as well. This sounds very positive, and it is, but there is another layer to this.

As we have said all year, inventory is very low. The supply continues to fall all jurisdictions reporting decreases in the last quarter of the year. Central Virginia saw a drop of 17%. The question is why?

This could be answered with a few reason. First, retirees and boomers just are not as quick to downsize. This could be because their children are living with them or a parent is living with them. Many people are opting to live in blended family settings more at this time. A second reason could be that refinancing one’s mortgage is significantly better option because of the plummeting rates. Either way the shortfall in inventory does lead to challenges.

Active Listings

The biggest challenge or concern would be the potential for affordability issues. While the economy looks to remain strong and see moderate growth, the lack of inventory leads to some imbalance with supply and demand. This is offset though with lower rates allowing buyers to increase their purchasing power. If the trend of increased housing permits being requested continues, more relief could be on the way.

At the end of the day, or year in this case, the 2019 was another strong year with the economy and housing. The coming second quarter and third quarter of 2020 is going to be very impacting on the housing market. Will homeowners be enticed with the opportunity to see return on their investment and put their homes on the market? Or will they opt to wait and see.

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 9 – Toast at Winterfield

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate liked Toast at Winterfield so much, we filmed twice. Okay, part of it was because we had to re-film the show due to some technical issues. But if you have not made it out to Josh and Jessica Bufford’s place in Midlothian, you need to check it out. Toast is an awesome gastropub, where Chef Antonio is putting together some amazing southern dishes with his own style. His Cuban-Rueben and Arancini were super impressive.

On this episode we have Josh Klemmer of Movement Mortgage. Josh is not only a team leader over at Movement, but he also happens to be my cousin. This guy is a really impressive person. Not only is he leading the way in his company with putting together an impactful lending organization, he also is helping build a better community, home and abroad.

Toast at Winterfield

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 8 – Kindred Spirit Brewing

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate headed west with this episode as we hit up our first brewery at Kindred Spirit Brewery. It was only a matter of time before we added the #RVABeertrail to our show list.

While we shared a flight with John Barefoot and Jason Trottier; as they shared their experiences as KSB owners and RVA local craft leaders in this awesome beer town. Headspace is one of my favorites and Frequency Modulation was really good.

Kindred Spirit Brewing

Average Mortgages Dropping?

You have to love the articles that blast strong headlines like this: Mortgages getting cheaper? It made me click the link. And they were not wrong, but a board statement like that can be misleading.

Is it a good time to buy? As always, just depends. Your circumstances are key. Rates are historically low, but prices are historically high and there is such a small inventory, sellers have a ton of leverage over buyers.

Does that mean you should not buy? No it means talk to a professional to get my information and analyze where you are at and what you want to do.

Mortgages getting cheaper?

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 7 – Izzy’s Kitchen & Coach Sawarzky

This week’s episode of RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate we head to an iconic RVA spot: Izzy’s Kitchen.

I am joined by Darren Sawarzky, the new head coach of the Richmond Kickers. as we discuss Darren’s journey to RVA, his professional soccer career and what he is learning about this amazing community.

Chef/Owner Joe Carter served us some amazing plates that he created all in house. From the pastrami sandwich, to the charcuterie board, to the porchetta; every piece of meat Chef Joe was smoking, brining, curing, or roasting himself. You have to get your hands on the bacon.

Izzy’s Kitchen

December Key Indicators

December 2019 was an interesting month in the market. It outperformed average Decembers that typically see a lull in buying and selling. December 2019 saw a 14% boost in sales and 8% increase in median sales price. What did drop, as it has been, was the number if houses on the market.

December 2019 Key Indicators

The Lake

If you have not heard of this project “The Lake,” you need to watch my video. This place is going to have significant impacts on RVA, specifically the Southside.

Hezpisode The Lake

A 105 acres hosting 150K square feet of retail and entertainment, with office space, a hotel and apartments all built around a 13 acre wake lake and water park.

Check out this article for a more detail. And did I mention the surf park? Not sure what that is, check this one in Waco, Texas

Waco Wave Pool

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate-Updates

Normally on Thursdays, we air this weeks episode of RRR. Unfortunately we had some technical difficulties this week and that episode is not going to air. INSTEAD, we are calling our fans to action and your awesome agent here is adjusting the show to make it all get to close.

We are growing rapidly with the show as our guest list is diversifying and our restaurant coverage is widening. But we know there is so much more in RVA. And we want your help. Is there someone we need to think about having on the show? Maybe it is you? Is there a hidden gem we need to go eat at? Maybe it is your place? We need your help in finding those!

As in real estate and life for that matter, there will be hurdles and obstacles. Typically unrelated to you or your actions. Hopefully on your team, you have trusted advisors and support. As your trusted real estate agent and favorite RVA food host, I am here to get us to the finish. We will always find a way to make it a win for you. Please comment below to let us know where and who we are missing. And if don’t worry, next week we will be eating on camera.

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 6 – Buz and Ned’s

This week’s episode of RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate we head to an iconic RVA spot: Buz and Ned’s.

I am joined by Neil Morrissette of C&F Mortgage as we dive into a BBQ heaven where Buz serves up every variety of dish you can imagine. From the jumbo ribs, to pulled BBQ, fried okra with house made ranch, wings, bacon-wrapped shrimp and cornbread, we were gluttons of BBQ.

Neil and I chatted about why he loves helping folks get into their dream homes, and educating them on the process of lending.

Buz, Neil and Me

Thanks to Buz and Ned and Neil for a great time. We certainly see why they are the 4th best BBQ in America.

Buz and Neds