According to the August 2016 Home Sales Report released by the Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR), residential real estate sales have strengthened markedly relative to August of last year. Following a month of slight contraction from its prior year benchmark, the number of August transactions grew year-over-year by 12.5 percent, from 10,204 sales to 11,482. Atypical of industry seasonality, August 2016 sales were slightly higher than July sales; the market typically peaks in June and begins to taper through the end of the year. Greater August sales may reflect that more inventory has come onto the market, expanding buying opportunities and boosting sales and volume.
The value of transactions for August 2016 was $3.793 billion, a significant 14.8 percent jump from August 2015. Volume through the end of August 2016 exceeded $25.941 billion, a gain of 6.8 percent from last year’s accumulation of $24.294 billion. Year-to-date measures continue to build significantly upon 2015 and prior year performance.
Following seasonal tendency, August median price declined slightly month-over-month and from the June peak, but was 1.7 percent higher than in the same month last year ($272,500 over $268,000 in 2015). Average length of time on the market was significantly lower, declining 13 percent (from 69 days last August to 60 in August 2016). The Federal Reserve’s indication to hold off on a rate hike offers buyers continued access to historically low interest rates and may contribute to buoyed market activity through the coming months.