The Virginia residential real estate market continued year-over-year and long term improvement through the third quarter of 2016. Both the total number of sales and the value of transactions rose from the same period last year, to 32,949 units and $10.821 billion, respectively. Volume – the sum of all transactions for July, August, and September of 2016 – was 5.8 percent higher than the same period last year, and 17.6 percent higher than the third quarter of 2014. Annualized residential sales, a rolling sum of the home sales closed in the preceding twelve months, rose 1.2 percent from 112,458 units in the preceding quarter to 113,817. Relative to last year’s third quarter, annualized sales rose 5.7 percent (from 107,639). Serial improvement in annualized sales, as demonstrated by Virginia’s eight consecutive periods of growth, indicates sustained market strengthening.
Aggregate median sales price for this quarter was $270,000, an increase of 1.9 percent from the third quarter of 2015 ($265,000). The average number of days on the market dropped from prior year benchmarks to an average of 61 for the 2016 third quarter, 10.3 percent lower than last year’s third quarter average (68 days). Atypical of industry seasonality, the average length of time on the market decreased from the second quarter to the third. Historically, the second quarter, with peak summer sales activity, exhibits the fastest pace from listing to close. The decrease in days on the market year-over-year and from the preceding quarter reflects strong buyer motivation, compelled by limited inventory and continued access to low-cost financing.
“Virginia’s third quarter housing market illustrates opportunity for both buyers and sellers,” said 2016 VAR President Bill White. “It’s a great time to list, as demand is still high from buyers who weren’t satisfied with limited summer inventory and prices are buoyed by their motivation. For buyers, more options are coming onto the market while they can still take advantage of historically low interest rates.”