Virginia’s housing market ends the year with continued rebound, double digit growth

2015 Virginia residential real estate sales approach 35 billion dollars
Twelve consecutive months of outperformance for previous year’s benchmarks

RICHMOND, Va. – January 22, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The 2015 Virginia residential real estate market outperformed every year from 2007 to 2014. Sales each month of 2015 surpassed those of 2014, leading to annual growth of nearly 11 percent for Virginia’s residential real estate market. Gradual and sustained market growth indicates restored strength to the housing market and its impact on the state economy, according to the most recent report published by the Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR). The report details market performance for the 4th quarter of 2015 as well as a year-end summary.

“2015 home sales in Virginia reflect a sustained rebound from the market decline of the Great Recession,” says 2016 VAR President Bill White. “Higher median prices and significant growth in the number of transactions illustrate a healthy boost to demand. The billions of dollars in sales closed last year have a direct effect on Virginia’s tax revenues. Expanding homeownership contributes to our state and local economies, and also creates opportunity for Virginia families to strengthen their financial security.”

The year ended with a transactional value of nearly $35 billion, eclipsing 2014 by $3.51 billion. The increase is due to both rising year-over-year median home prices and, primarily, a significant rise in sales closed. The volume of sales closed in 2015 was 11.08 percent higher than that of the prior year (109,201 over 98,310 units). Annualized sales – a rolling sum of homes sold in the preceding twelve months – rose in the last quarter of 2015 for the fifth consecutive quarter, indicating long-term sustained strengthening. According to the state’s most recent report of Virginia general fund revenue collections, December revenues attributed to the recordation tax grew by double digits from December 2014.

For the quarter, statewide median price remained static at $255,000, in comparison to the last quarter of 2014; the value is a 2.4 percent gain from 2013 and 5.8 percent higher than in the fourth quarter of 2012. Median value increased in every region except for high-volume Northern Virginia, where there was a marginal decline (0.8 percent). Statewide, the number of units sold rose by 3.8 percent relative to the fourth quarter of 2014. In December alone, sales rose over the same month last year by 2.5 percent,

and were 22 percent higher than in November, following the same year-end bounce shown in 2013 and 2014.

Comparisons by month, quarter, and year between 2014 and 2015 show the number of days on the market have declined, indicating a quickening pace to market activity. While sales pace may have been chilled by the national lending regulatory changes enacted in October, Virginia’s market has not realized a particularly adverse effect.

Market speculation by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) suggests that growth may be more tempered in 2016, if interest rates rise and housing prices continue to rise more quickly than incomes. While interest rates are anticipated to increase, they remain historically low. The average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate declined in the fourth quarter to 3.90 percent; the average 15-year fixed mortgage interest rate held at 3.1 percent.

Virginia’s unemployment rate is the lowest recorded since August 2008 and lower than the national rate. With the relative affordability of financing, low unemployment and healthy consumer confidence are positive indicators that the state’s residential real estate market could see further performance improvement in the year ahead.

The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by the Virginia Association of REALTORS. Click here to view the full Fourth Quarter 2015 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 31,000 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, Chief of Policy & Advocacy
Email: Martin (at) varealtor (dot) com
Telephone: (804) 514-9830

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