Buoyed by a solid report from the Hampton Roads area, Virginia total home sales in August were in positive territory from a year before, according to new data, while median sales prices also rose.
A total of 12,246 properties went to closing during the month, according to new figures reported by the Virginia Realtors trade organization. That’s up – albeit slightly (about 1 percent) – from August 2018.
The real-estate engine was held back due to declines in sales in both Northern Virginia and across a wide swath of central Virginia; each area posted dips of about 2 percent. All other areas of the commonwealth saw increases.
At $298,500, the median sales price for all homes that sold during the month statewide was up 4 percent. Median prices were up in each of the eight geographic areas of the commonwealth (see map), including double-digit increases in eastern Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley and western Virginia.
In Northern Virginia, the median sales price of $450,000 was up 5 percent, the highest rate in the commonwealth. (Virginia Realtors uses a more broad definition of “Northern Virginia” than used elsewhere; it includes areas down to Fredericksburg in computing data.)
Add up the sales and average prices, and $4.4 billion worth of real estate was sold in the commonwealth in August, an increase of 4 percent from a year before and up a whopping 42 percent from the same month in 2014.
The lack of available inventory that has been plaguing much of Virginia over the past year is showing up in the relatively brisk time homes spend on the market before finding a suitor.
In August, it took an average of 45 days between listing and ratified sales contract, an improvement of four days from a year before.
In Northern Virginia, where the inventory crunch has been most acute, it took an average of 27 days to go from listing to contract, down from 30 days a year before. But even in areas of the commonwealth where homes tend to sell more slowly, the pace was picking up: In Southside Virginia, it took an average of 137 days on the market for a home to find a buyer, but that was a full month shorter than the rate a year before.
At the end of the month, there were 46,267 properties on the market across the commonwealth. That’s down 10 percent from 51,190 a year before and is well below the 66,951 available in August 2014, according to data from the trade organization.