RICHMOND, Va. – April 25, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — The Virginia residential real estate market continued year-over-year improvement according to the First Quarter 2016 Home Sales Report released by the Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR). Indicating sustained long-term growth, both the number of sales and the value of transactions rose from this period last year, totaling 20,771 units and $6.34 billion, respectively. The value of transactions for the first quarter of 2016 was 2.2 percent higher than the first quarter of last year, and nearly 15 percent higher than the first quarter of 2014.
“The first quarter of 2016 illustrates continued growth in the residential real estate market,” said 2016 VAR President Bill White. “As the housing market improves, so does the impact on Virginia’s economy. Growing home sales boost revenue for the state and spending in our communities.”
Annualized residential sales, a rolling sum of the home sales closed in the preceding twelve months, rose for the sixth consecutive period, from 108,827 units in the last quarter to 109,185. First quarter 2016 sales were 8.7 percent higher than the same benchmark in 2015, reflecting both a strong start to the first months of this year and the swell in last year’s summer volume. The growth trend in annualized sales indicates long-term sustained strengthening of the residential real estate market. Sales rose from $6.21 billion in the first quarter of 2015 to $6.34 billion in 2016. The growth in overall transactional value for the comparable time periods between 2015 and 2016 is due to both continual increases in the volume of sales and steadily rising median price.
Aggregate median sales price for the first quarter was $249,000, rising 1.9 percent from the first quarter of 2015. 2016 had the highest first quarter median price since 2008. Year-over-year median sales price increased in all regions, with the exception of a marginal decline (0.7 percent) in the Roanoke/Lynchburg/Blacksburg region and a decline in the Southwest region that is more pronounced because of limited inventory. Compared to the first quarter of last year, 2016 first 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 $400 to $500K. 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 has dropped from 2014 and 2015 benchmarks. Reflecting industry seasonality, days on the market are higher in the first quarter than other periods, but decline steadily through warmer months. Relative to last year’s first quarter, the number of days on the market decreased by 6.4 percent from 89 days to 83, indicating strong year-over-year quickening between listing and sale.
Performing ahead of the national rate, Virginia’s unemployment rate has continued to decline, reaching its lowest point since 2008. The March drop to 4 percent unemployment supports consumer confidence. Both 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgage interest rates remain at historic lows, on par with last year’s first quarter rates. Sustained low rates continue to make borrowing accessible, encouraging buyers into the market.
The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by the Virginia Association of REALTORS®. Click here to view the full First 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 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