The Virginia housing market maintained year-over-year improvements in the third quarter: sales were up 11%, prices increased 2.4%, and volume increased 19%. In general, year-over-year numbers indicate that the market is continuing to recover with increased sales, increased value, and stable prices. Nonetheless, sales decreased in September. The graph below shows that the decrease in sales from August 2013 through September 2013 (20.4%) was similar to the decline Virginia experienced last year, 20.08% from the end of August 2012 to the end of September 2012. The sales performance over the previous three years is not consistent, so we cannot reliably predict our trajectory this winter. We hope to see a boost in sales over the holidays (similar to last winter), but must keep other economic factors in mind for the Virginia winter market like rising interest rates and consumer uncertainty related to government spending (or lack thereof). It is important to keep in mind that 2013 has been a solid year for the Virginia housing market and as the red line below indicates, we are in recovery.Analysis and commentary by Ted Koebel, Senior Research Associate and Mel Jones, Research Associate of the Virginia Center for Housing Research and Virginia Tech.
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