Health of the Hampton Roads Housing Market


To put things in perspective, the U.S. was in the 11th year economic expansion when it all came to a screeching halt in March 2020. Current conditions reflect the biggest economic contraction since 1946, bigger than the recession in 2008, with national unemployment rates the highest recording since 1940 (April 14.7% and May 13.3%). However, this recession is completely different than what happened in 1946 when the US was coming out of a war and retooling its manufacturing industries. This time around, the economy is forecast to start rebounding by 3rd quarter 2020, though it may take 18-24 months before the economy feels “normal” again.

Though the Hampton Roads area did experience a large spike in unemployment (jumping from 3.7% in March 2020 to 12.5% in April), our region has fared better than nationwide.

Long-term mortgage rates are at a record low. For the week ending June 12th, a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was just 3.2%. These low rates provide affordability for some buyers that would not otherwise exist.


Prior to the pandemic, we were headed into a record-breaking selling season. Not unexpectedly, once the President declared a national emergency on March 13th, things started to change. The good news is that the Hampton Roads market has rebounded much quicker than other areas of the country.

New listings input into the MLS began to fall mid-March, bottoming out in mid-April (falling approximately 33% locally and 50% nationally), but have since begun to bounce back. The Hampton Roads region’s inventory is rebounding faster than nationally, with local new listings down just 2% year-over-year for the week of June 6th, compared to national new listings down 19% year-over-year the same week.

Pending sales, the leading indicator of future sales/closings, has remained relatively steady for our local market, with the week of June 6th seeing an 18% year-over-year increase, whereas nationally pending sales dropped more significantly, down 2% year-over-year for the week of June 6.

Though the Hampton Roads region has experienced 8 straight years of price appreciation (23% cumulative growth), concerns that national recovery may be sluggish could dampen homebuying activity and soften prices. Dr. Nothaft forecasts a 1.3% decline in home prices by April 2021.


Locally, the number of loan applications being applied for remained strong in March and April (up 5-10% year-over-year), compared to nationwide, where applications were down 5-20% from last year. Of those applications, most were first time buyers and millennials, indicating that millennials are taking this opportunity to transition into home ownership.


It is clear that the housing market has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, but the Hampton Roads region has outperformed national metrics and appears to be weathering the storm better than many metro areas across the country. Home sales stand to support an economic recovery sooner than later. The Spring market may just be pushed back into the Summer months, where the bigger challenge maybe if there is enough inventory (which has been steadily declining for 5 years) to support a resurgence. To hear Dr. Nothaft’s full presentation

About Mr Williamsburg

Psssst! I wanted to let you in on a little secret. While I am a real estate agent…I am a different kind of real estate agent. I am creating a revolution in realty by combining everything you love about this area all into one place. Known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, I combine my extensive knowledge of the Williamsburg, Richmond, and Hampton Roads areas with my expertise in helping buyers and sellers navigate the ever-changing local real estate market to create a top-notch experience that checks all of your boxes.

Are you a homeowner searching for someone innovative and committed to selling your home? Allow Mr. Williamsburg to tell your story. With my unique marketing approach, your home will be seen from your eyes, not described in a few sentences by someone who doesn’t know it well.

Curious in finding the value of your existing home? Ask me here.

Interested in learning more about neighborhoods in the Williamsburg area? Check out my resource on specific communities in the surrounding areas of Williamsburg and Hampton Roads here.

Looking somewhere other than Williamsburg? In addition to my affinity for Williamsburg, I have helped hundreds of folks find their dream home and community in areas outside of the ‘Burg, such as Yorktown, New Kent, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Poquoson, and Richmond. I’m committed to helping you find your perfect fit and the place you’re happy to call home. Fill out this form and I’ll get back to you so we can connect.

Want to learn more about what working with me is like? While I can tell you all day why I love what I do so much, hearing directly from previous clients is the best way to see this. To read real client reviews and learn more about what it’s like working with me on your team, visit my reviews page here.

Your real estate journey is just that…yours. I get that it’ll be unique. It needs a marketing plan and a committed real estate professional to guide you every step of the way. To talk further, you can reach me via phone or text at 757-254-8136 or through email at [email protected].

I look forward to serving your real estate needs and welcoming you to this place that I’m lucky enough to call home!

John Womeldorf, Mr. Williamsburg

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