(WFXR)– According to the National Association of Realtors, home sales and mortgage rates took a turn for the worse in the month of June.
Officials say pending home sales in the nation dropped 20% over the last year. This comes just two days after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates another three-quarters of a point, making it more expensive to borrow money.
Many realtors in the Blacksburg area have been feeling the impacts of the state of the current housing market, including RE/MAX 8 realtor Scott Bunn.
“I’m feeling the pressure of this market, and I’m having to adjust strategies,” Bunn said.
Bunn says housing sales and buyer demand in the New River Valley are down, so realtors are having to get creative to sell a house.
“It’s skill-based. It’s, you know, ‘have you done the work? Do you know how to market yourself? Do you know how to market your properties?'” explained Bunn.
This past week, Bunn tells WFXR News that he had to hold his first open house in three years in the New River Valley. He says there was no need for them before the pandemic because people were snapping up homes amid the economic state at that time.
However, that has changed.
Bunn says he had around 50 units at this time last year, but he currently has about 38 units.
Jennifer Elias, an economics professor at Radford University, says the reason for all of this is the Federal Reserve.
“The Federal Reserve, our simple bank, wants people to stop buying houses,” said Elias.
She says the housing market is typically the first sector to react to interest rate changes, which is why we are seeing a slowdown. However, Elias doesn’t believe that it will cause realtors to lose their jobs.
“The real estate market has been so hot for so long that I think those set careers still relatively stable,” said Elias.
Although, affordability in the construction of housing may not be so lucky.
“We have another problem with the new housing starts, which is the cost of building materials is still very high,” Elias said.
Bunn echoes Elias, saying the state of the market shouldn’t scare you, but motivate you.
“I get laser focus when it’s when it’s time to like strap up… When there’s turbulence in the market… that’s when I’m, like, ‘that’s my time,'” said Bunn.
His advice to realtors who are also feeling the pressure is to take this moment as a learning experience and prepare for the better days up ahead. Scott also thanks everyone who has supported him along the way and has believed in the work he is doing in the New River Valley.