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Despite the pandemic panic and the economic lockdown that followed, nearly two-thirds of mid-sized and larger Virginia localities have seen higher year-over-year home sales for the first nine months of 2020, with half of them posting increases of 10 percent or more.

A total of 64 jurisdictions saw increases in sales during the January-to-September time frame compared to a year before, based on a Sun Gazette analysis of figures reported by the Virginia Realtors trade group. A total of 35 localities saw year-over-year declines. One – Washington County – saw no change.

(The remaining Virginia cities and counties, totaling 33, had fewer than 100 sales during the nine-month period and were not included in the Sun Gazette analysis.)

Thirty-four localities had double-digit increases, led by Northumberland County (up 54 percent to 315 transactions), Lancaster County (up 51 percent to 270) and Northampton County (up 36 percent to 315).

Statewide, home sales across the commonwealth have totaled 99,817 as of Sept. 30, up 2.6 percent from a year before, according to Virginia Realtors data. The growth rate would have been higher except for shortfalls in sales in a number of cities (Richmond and Roanoke) and large D.C.-region suburban communities (Fairfax County, Alexandria, Arlington), where more strenuous economic lockdowns provoked a less robust housing rebound at the start of summer. The suburban communities of Northern Virginia, however, have been making up for lost time with significant year-over-year sales increases reported in August and September.

Across the commonwealth for the nine-month period, the median home-sales price of $315,000 up was 5.5 percent from a year before, while total sales volume of $38.5 billion is up just under 10 percent.

With three more months of 2020 to report in, it appears likely, though not guaranteed, that 2020’s statewide sales figures could run ahead of 2019’s. Pending sales for the month were up 13 percent from a year before; those figures usually translate into completed sales within a month or two of posting.

Figures represent most, but not all, sales during the period. All figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision.

[Sun Gazette Newspapers provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

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