RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS)–With the Census Bureau reporting nearly an 11 percent drop in single-family home sales in September, members of the Beckley Board of REALTORS reported a need for single-family homes to sell to buyers.

“We don’t have a lot of new inventory coming on the market,” said Brian Brown of eXp Realty. “We don’t have a lot of new construction, so that’s really hampering our ability to really keep up with the sales of previous years.”

Brown is working on a project to develop additional living and commercial space in the region.

Kay Booth of Old Colony Realty said a pandemic housing boom depleted the number of homes that are immediately available to buyers, with less than two months of inventory on the market at any given time.

“It’s still a good time to buy a house if you can find a house,” Booth said. “Our inventory is low where went through the boom for a couple of years. So if you’re thinking of selling your home, it’s a great time to call and let us get it on the market for you.”

During the pandemic, interest rates were at a low. So, the real estate market nationwide, and in southern West Virginia, saw a boom.

Realtors said as interest rates have risen, sales have decreased. In addition, they said, real estate sales tend to slow in the autumn, each year.

But Booth said September trends in southern West Virginia have not followed the drastic national downturn.

“Our market is strong,” said Booth. “Rates are still good. They’re not in the two’s and three’s like they were, but they’re in the five and sixes, and that has had an impact on our market.”

Booth added September reports show 62 homes sold, at an average price of $182,000 in Raleigh County as well as five surrounding counties.

The average house stayed on the market for 71 days, she added.

Megan Legursky, a mortgage lender with Mars Bank, recommended that buyers get pre-approved this fall and winter.

“While we’ve seen an upward trend in mortgage rates and inflation nationwide, I am still encouraging buyers that it can be a strong time to house hunt,” said Legursky. “Demand in the real estate market tends to decrease during the fall and winter and can increase bargaining power and affordability for buyers.”