Virginia buyers and sellers benefit from strong and stable third quarter housing market Year-to-date sales exceed $29 billion

RICHMOND, Va. – October 21, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — The Virginia residential real estate market continued year-overyear and long term improvement according to the Third 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 32,949 units and $10.821 billion, respectively.

VAR

Volume – the sum of all transactions for July, August, and September of 2016 – was 5.8 percent higher than the same period last year, and 17.6 percent higher than the third quarter of 2014.

“Virginia’s third quarter housing market performance illustrates opportunity for both buyers and sellers,” said 2016 VAR President Bill White. “It’s a great time to list, as demand is still high from buyers who weren’t satisfied with limited summer inventory and prices are buoyed by their motivation. For buyers, more options are coming onto the market while they can still take advantage of historically low interest rates.”

Annualized residential sales, a rolling sum of the home sales closed in the preceding twelve months, rose 1.2 percent from 112,458 units in the preceding quarter to 113,817. Relative to last year’s third quarter, annualized sales rose 5.7 percent (from 107,639). Serial improvement in annualized sales, as demonstrated by Virginia’s eight consecutive periods of growth, indicates sustained market strengthening.

Third quarter 2016 sales pace was 4.3 percent higher than the same benchmark in 2015. There were a total of 32,949 sales, up from 31,590 in the third quarter of 2015. August, in particular, propelled the growth over last year’s third quarter, as sales ballooned on pent up consumer demand absorbing greater inventory after a July that had been tempered by limited supply.

Volume, or the sum of all transactions for the quarter, rose 5.8 percent year-over-year to $10.821 billion. The rise in volume relative to last year’s third quarter was amplified by increases in both buyer activity and median price.

Aggregate median sales price for this quarter was $270,000, an increase of 1.9 percent from the third quarter of 2015 ($265,000). Year-over-year median sales price increased in all regions, with the exception of the Northern region, where price remained static. Compared to the third quarter of last year, 2016 third quarter home sales increased in all price bands except the lowest ($0 to $100,000), where low levels of inventory affect the number of sales possible. Sales increased particularly in the $200,000 to $400,000 range, rising on consumer eagerness to absorb expanded inventory in those categories following limited summer supply. Increases across broad price categories indicate overall market improvement, as buyers enter the market at varied price points.

The average number of days on the market dropped from prior year benchmarks to an average of 61 for the 2016 third quarter, 10.3 percent lower than last year’s third quarter average (68 days). Atypical of industry seasonality, the average length of time on the market decreased from the second quarter to the third. Historically, the second quarter, with peak summer sales activity, exhibits the fastest pace from listing to close. The decrease in days on the market year-over-year and from the preceding quarter reflects strong buyer motivation, compelled by limited inventory and continued access to low-cost financing.

Virginia’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly from the second quarter to 3.9 percent in August 2016, but continues to outperform the national rate (4.9 percent). Sustained low interest rates continue to make borrowing accessible and have propelled qualified buyers into the market. Both 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgage interest rates decreased for the fifth consecutive quarter, dropping to 3.45 percent and 2.75 percent, respectively.

The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by the Virginia Association of REALTORS®. Click here to view the full Third Quarter 2016 Home Sales Report. Current and past reports are available to members, media, and real estate related-industries through the organization’s website.

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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

Contact: Jenny Wortham
Email: Jenny (at) varealtor (dot) com
Telephone: (919) 414-9409

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VAR

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.

Contact:

Phone: (804) 264-5033

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