Home prices in Newport News

What is happening with house prices in Newport News, Virginia? We all know it’s a buyer’s market but what exactly does that mean for a buyer? First, let me say that whether its a buyer’s or seller’s market really depends on the specific neighborhood and price range. For instance, the market for 3 bedroom 1 1/2 bathroom townhouses in Courthouse Green may be a strong buyer’s market, but the market for a nice, updated 4 bedroom 2 bathroom homes in the B.C. Charles elementary school district may be more balanced. It all depends on the months supply of homes.

The months supply of homes is the total number of homes for sale divided by the average number of homes sold per month. A 6 month supply of homes is considered a balanced market with no advantage to buyer or seller. A 9 or 10 month supply of homes would indicate a buyer’s market, whereas a 4 month supply of homes indicates a seller’s market.

Believe it or not, there are some pockets in Newport News where it appears there is a seller’s market. Second to location, property condition is the biggest determining factor. Pardon my language, but I am surpised at how much crap there is for sale, even in price ranges over $200,000. If you looked at just the number of houses that were NOT in poor or “needs work” condition, the number for sale is actually quite small. Since most buyers in this market are still spoiled to an extent, they tend to rule out completely the listings which are in anything less than “move in” condition. Therefore, in reality, there are more buyers for fewer homes than there appear to be.

This makes it tough to negotiate home prices. While it may appear that given the general market conditions, a buyer should be able to negotiate as much as 10% in seller consessions, the reality is, it may be much less. A buyer can get into trouble by looking at homes just above their target price range in hopes of negotiating lower. If the house they end up liking is also the one in the best condition (and it usually is), that particular seller may feel they are in a stronger negotiating position and stick to their price.

If there are several buyers in a particular market, all of whom have rejected the current listings based on condition or have not made a successful low bid on a house just above their price range, the minute a home in good condition comes on the market that is IN their price range, more than one of those buyers will be interested in making an offer. Doesn’t this sound an aweful like a seller’s market. When this is the case, the seller will certainly stick to their price and may not even give any closing cost concessions.

I actually had an outright bidding war on one of my listings last year. My market analysis suggested a price of $170,000 – $175,000 for a small house in Lee’s Mill. We listed at $174,000. Due to this home’s incredible condition we received 7 (SEVEN) written offers by the end of the first weekend. The house sold for $180,000 with no seller paid closing costs.

Please let me know if you found this article useful.

Brad Anderson, REALTOR
Keller Williams Realty
Licensed in the state of Virginia


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