2009 year-end Virginia housing market report

With all the data for 2009 compiled and analyzed, we have a good picture of Virginia’s housing market in 2009. Housing markets, of course — Dan River isn’t Roanoke isn’t Arlington.

First off, if you want to grab the docs themselves, including charts and detailed analysis, here they are (all PDFs, all fairly small) :

And now some of the highlights.

The full year 2009

Statewide, existing home sales in Virginia were slightly higher than in 2008 —  86,609 units sold, up 1.6% (the first increase since 2005). And sales were up month-to-month over 2008 for the last five months of the year; in November 2009 it was 44% higher than November 2008.

At the same time, the 2009 median sales price — $240,809 — was 4.2% lower than in 2008.

New home sales were down in every month compared to 2008, but, while the median sales price of those new homes also decreased year to year, in November that decrease was the lowest (only 1.4% off 2008, as opposed to April, which was down 13.6% over 2008).

Of course, we know there isn’t a single economy in Virginia.

In the South Central region, for example, sales were down 14.5% from 2008, but prices were up 1.5%; in the Upper Shenandoah Valley, it was the opposite: sales up 5.4%, prices down 15%.

Here are the charts from the full 2009 sales summary (sales on top, prices below; click to enlarge either):

Annual sales changes

Pricing changes

(Note that the full-year report divides the state into seven regions, while the quarterly report is based on the 29 local Realtor® associations.)

The fourth quarter — sales

Despite that dip, though, statewide home sales were up more than 18 percent over Q3 2008. In fact, quarterly sales showed double-digit growth for 18 of the 29 local Realtor® associations, and only declined in five regions: Eastern Shore, Lexington/Buena Vista, Prince William, South Central, and Southern Piedmont.

Get this: In Southwest Virginia, Q4 sales were up 327.4% from 2008, and in Williamsburg they were up 121.3%.

Here’s the sales-change chart from the Q4 sales report (click to enlarge, but you can see Southwest Virginia even in the thumbnail):

Q4 sales change

Keep in mind that there was a significant drop in sales in December, as the $8,000 tax credit was expected to expire, which may have skewed the Q4 numbers.

The fourth quarter — prices

The median home price was down 8.5% statewide from Q4 2008 to Q4 2009, but it varied considerably between regions. At the ends of the bell curve we have Chesapeake Bay & Rivers with a 23.8% decrease, and Prince William with a 24.1% increase, while Lynchburg and New River Valley saw virtually no change.

Here’s the sales-change chart from the Q4 sales report (click to enlarge):

Q4 pricing change


Statewide, foreclosures were up in Virginia by 33.8% in 2009 over 2008, but that’s well below the nation as a whole, which saw them jump 55.3%.

However, foreclosures were down 19.1% statewide from Q3 to Q4 2009 (they had gone up from Q2 to Q3, so that was a nice change).


Press reax

Media outlets around the Commonwealth have posted stories about VAR’s home sales report, and most seem to have a friendly take on the numbers:

And remember, you can get all the details at www.VARealtor.com/homesales.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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  1. Pingback: Roanoke Real Estate Blog » Virigina Year End Sales Statistics

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