RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A recent report says Virginia has not seen this slow a housing market in nearly a decade, but the outlook for 2024 is better.

Virginia REALTORS says nearly 98,500 homes were sold across the Commonwealth in December, which is down more than 24,700 from 2022.

That is a 20 percent drop in housing market activity.

According to a release, the 2023 annual sales total was the lowest the state’s housing market has been since 2014.

Increasing mortgage rates and low inventory levels have been named as the primary causes of the slow market, with about nine out of every 10 counties and cities reporting fewer sales in 2023.

The statewide organization says this is indicative of just how widespread the market cool down was for the year.

Meanwhile, the median home price has been climbing almost every month, with the current median price of $382,725 being up nearly $24,000 from the previous year.

At the end of December, there were some 16,200 active listings in Virginia, which is nearly 130 more listings than the same time a year ago.

This is the first year-over-year uptick that has been seen in nine months.

“Home sales activity is likely to rebound in 2024, with an expected boost from lower mortgage rates,” said Virginia REALTORS® 2024 President Tom Campbell. “If rates continue trending downward, it will likely spur housing market activity on both sides of the table as there is pent-up demand from both first-time buyers and those looking to move up.”

To view the full December 2023 Virginia Home Sales Report, click here.