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  • Writer's pictureJesse Ledbetter

Don't panic, this is normal.

In 2021 I performed 588 appraisals - this level of exposure to the market allows me to have multiple conversations per week with homeowners, agents and lenders. As a result, sometimes I begin to notice trends. In 2021, everyone began to use the word "crazy" to refer to the market, and the data was certainly wild. In the past weeks, conversations with agents and owners has heard a new "tone," one of worry.

In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (the above reference) by Douglas Adams, the phrase "Don't Panic" is on the guide because the device "looked insanely complicated." The current housing market is complicated, to say the least.

Housing price appreciation has slowed over the last 3 months in the four counties around Richmond, however, no area could be called "in decline" at this time.

However, what "feels" so "weak" about this market is the comparison to 6 months ago. The market feels very weak when compared to the last two years of "crazy" markets with 40 offers on homes, price wars as the norm, and waiving of appraisals and home inspections to "get the home." However, when we look at a three-year trend, we see that the current market is stronger than that of pre-pandemic 2019, and this was a steady year of home price increase.

The current market feels like it's "collapsing because it is one-third the level of the last two years, however, the last two years were unsustainable and could never go on forever. We need the market to cool in order to maintain long-term health.

So, calm down, take a deep breath and grab your towel.

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