Virginia housing market gains further strength with high-performing second quarter Second quarter residential real estate sales approach $12 billion
RICHMOND, Va. (July 22, 2016) – (RealEstateRama) — The Virginia residential real estate market continued year-over-year and long term improvement according to the Second Quarter 2016 Home Sales Report released by the Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR). Both the total number of sales and the value of transactions rose from the same period last year, to 34,688 units and $11.720 billion, respectively. Volume – the sum of all transactions for April, May, and June of 2016 – was 8.6 percent higher than the same period last year, and more than 20 percent higher than the second quarter of 2014.
“Second quarter strength rests on steady market improvement across key metrics, including rising price and growing buyer participation,” said 2016 VAR President Bill White. “Combined with the natural industry uptick in summer activity, low interest rates are urging buyers into the market and driving sales up throughout Virginia.”
Annualized residential sales, a rolling sum of the home sales closed in the preceding twelve months, rose 2.2 percent from 109,574 units in the previous quarter to 112,019. Relative to last year’s second quarter, annualized sales rose 7.6 percent (from 104,091). Serial improvement in annualized sales, as demonstrated by Virginia’s seven consecutive periods of growth, indicate sustained market strengthening.
Second quarter 2016 sales pace was 7.6 percent higher than the same benchmark in 2015. There were a total of 34,688 sales, up from 32,243. April and May were the strongest contributors to the growth over last year’s second quarter, as June 2016 rose less sharply than the prior months over last year’s figure.
Volume, or the sum of all transactions, rose 8.6 percent year-over-year. Because the median price increase was slight, the rise in volume relative to last year’s second quarter was due primarily to increased buyer activity elevating the number of sales.
Aggregate median sales price for this quarter was $277,500, an increase of 0.9 percent from the second quarter of 2015 ($274,900). Year-over-year median sales price increased in all regions, with the exception of marginal declines (0.2 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively) in the Northern and Valley regions, and no change in the Southwest. Compared to the second quarter of last year, 2016 second quarter home sales increased in all nearly all price bands, with the most significant increases in sales in the price ranges between $200K to $300K and $500 to $750K. Rising sales across broad price categories suggest higher consumer confidence as buyers enter the market at varied price points, supporting overall market improvement.
The average number of days on the market dropped seasonally and from prior year benchmarks to an average of 63 for the 2016 second quarter. The steep decline (24 percent) from the first quarter is typical of the industry, as sales activity quickens significantly through summer months. Relative to last year’s second quarter, the number of days on the market decreased more than 7 percent, from 68 days to 63, reflecting year-over-year quickening between listing and sale and stronger buyer motivation, both compelled by limited inventory.
Performing ahead of the national rate (4.7 percent), Virginia’s unemployment rate has continued to decline, reaching 3.8 percent in May 2016. Consumer confidence correlating to low unemployment and sustained low rates that continue to make borrowing accessible have continued to encourage buyers into the market. Both 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgage interest rates decreased from prior periods, on par with historic lows at 3.59 and 2.85 percent.
The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by the Virginia Association of REALTORS®. Click here to view the full Second Quarter 2016 Home Sales Report. Current and past reports are available to members, media, and real estate related-industries through the organization’s website.
# # #
About the Virginia Association of REALTORS®
The Virginia Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state, representing approximately 32,000 REALTORS® engaged in the residential and commercial real estate business. VAR serves as an advocate for homeownership and homeowners, and represents the interests of property owners in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information, visit www.varealtor.com or follow VAR on Facebook and Twitter.
NOTE: The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
Virginia Association of REALTORS®
Contact: Martin Johnson
Email: Martin (at) varealtor (dot) com
Telephone: (804) 514-9830