Virginia home sales, September 2020

Graphich shows year-over-year change home sales in September 2020 in the various geographical regions of Virginia. (Virginia Realtors)

Statewide home sales, which have been booming since summer once the initial COVID crisis calmed down, continued to post strong year-over-year sales results in September, according to new data.

A total of 13,346 properties changed hands across the commonwealth last month, up 33 percent from the 10,070 transactions a year before, according to figures reported by the Virginia Realtors trade organization.

Not only were sales up in each of the eight geographic reporting areas of the commonwealth, but not a single reporting area saw less than a 24-percent bump up in transactions for the month. Northern Virginia, which represents about a third of all transactions in a given month, saw 4,478 sales in September, up 37 percent from a year before and enough to boost this area’s year-to-date sales slightly higher than during the same period in 2019.

“The strong summer housing market surged ahead into September,” said Lisa Sturtevant, chief economist for the organization. “Strong demand and low mortgage rates continue to fuel robust housing-market activity.”

Statewide – and to a larger degree in Northern Virginia – the spring real-estate market was wiped out by COVID. But rather than hiding under the bed, prospective purchasers dusted themselves off in May and June and began entering the market. Buyers, who at first seemed iffy, themselves were drawn into the market by ever-increasing sales prices.

For September, the median sales price of $329,900 was up 13 percent from a year before, as many regions see continued tight inventories leading to buyer frenzies at all but the very upper tier of the market.

Median sales prices increased in every corner of the commonwealth, with all geographic reporting areas except the relatively small (in total transactions) Southside and Southwest Virginia reporting double-digit price increases. In the broader Northern Virginia market, the median sales price rose to $495,000, an increase of 14.6 percent.

Add up the sales and prices, and total statewide sales volume for the month was $5.38 billion, up an astounding 52 percent from a year before and pushing the year-to-date sales volume of $38.5 billion up 9.9 percent higher than in the same period in 2020.

For now, at least, the market does not seem in danger of stalling. The number of pending sales in the September data totaled 11,829, which while down slightly from August was still more than 18 percent higher than in September 2019. Those pendings can be expected to translate into closed transactions in coming months.

While many sellers – dollars signs in their eyes – hopped into the market over the summer, the brisk pace of sales has kept inventory low. The 22,534 properties on the market at the end of the month represented a 41-percent decline from a year before.

“While there are variations across the state, both in terms of inventory and months of supply, most markets remain strongly sellers’ markets,” Sturtevant said.

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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