Home prices continue to fall in Richmond

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Home prices have hit their lowest level in five years across the country, but here in Richmond, there is reason to be optimistic.

The housing market in Richmond is usually more stable than larger cities across the country but local realtors say home prices have plummeted here as well.

That makes it a buyer's market and that's exactly what many people are doing.

Rachelle Hicaro and Garrett Vlieger are busy unpacking boxes after moving into a home on Richmond's Northside last week after selling their home in Glen Allen.

They almost didn't move at all because they knew they wouldn't get what they want for their home.

"We had to come down on our house from what we wanted to get for it," Vlieger said. "In the end we were just happy just to sell it at all and not have to sit on it."

The home price index hit its lowest level nationwide since 2006. That looks at the top twenty cities in the country, but realtor John Pace says so far Richmond isn't much different.

"We might be down right now for the larger picture across nationwide," Pace said. "But in Richmond I think we could see some surprising numbers in the next month or two."

Pace says home sales in may were nearly three times the average for metro Richmond.

"We are fairing better than most markets," he said. "Our prices have dropped, no doubt, but we are seeing good activity. People are buying homes. It may not be the best time to sell, but it's a fantastic time to buy."

That's why Rachelle and Garrett took a hit on their old home so they could move into a new one.

This home was out of their price range just a few years ago, but the falling home prices brought this home into their price range.

"Once we started looking," Vlieger said. "We were happy to see that houses in neighborhoods like this that we thought maybe would be out of our range, we were able to not only afford it, but make a lower offer."

About thirty percent of Richmond homes are in foreclosure - obviously a high number - but other cities are seeing rates twice as high as that.

Realtors say home prices and sales could go up and down every month for the next few years.

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