Home sales across Virginia for the first quarter of 2021 were up 19.3 percent from a year ago, while average sales prices rose 11.7 percent, according to new data from the Virginia Realtors trade group.

A total of 29,129 properties went to closing during the January-February-March 2021 period, up from 24,412 properties during the same quarter in 2020, according to figures reported April 20.

The 2020 figure might have been slightly impacted by the pandemic, which could have triggered some contract closings to be put off in late March 2020 in hopes the health situation improved later in the spring (which it didn’t). The bigger impact of the pandemic will be felt in the second-quarter comparison, since sales activities declined (but didn’t stop) in April and May 2020 before beginning a rebound that continues to this day.

Add up the prices and sales, and total market volume for Virginia in the first quarter of 2021 stood at $11.7 billion, up 2.8 percent from $8.9 billion a year ago.

How did the largest jurisdictions across the commonwealth fare for the quarter? For those localities with more than 1,000 sales, the year-over-year data all pointed upward:

• Sales in Fairfax County totaled 3,544, up 17.4 percent from a year before. • Sales in Virginia Beach stood at 2,003, up 24.1 percent. • Sales in Prince William County were 1,663, up 14.9 percent. • Sales in Chesterfield County bloomed to 1,542, up 17.7 percent. • Sales in Loudoun County reached 1,490, up a whopping 22.4 percent. • Sales in Chesapeake stood at 1,077, up 6.5 percent. • Sales in Henrico County tiptoed onto the list with 1,006 sales, up 0.9 percent.

The growth rate, in both transactions and prices, was concentrated in the earliest part of the quarter. In March, year-over-year sales were up 9.6 percent (only about half the quarterly figure) and prices were up 9.8 percent (off about 2 percent from the quarterly rate).

Inventory remains a challenge in most part of the Old Dominion, with the 15,787 properties available at the end of March representing a decline of more than 40 percent from a year before. At the end of the reporting period, the statewide market had a 1.3-month supply of houses on the market, less than half the 2.7-month rate of a year before.

Figures represent most, but not all, properties on the market. Current 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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