Va. home sales record strongest second quarter in seven years

The Virginia residential real estate market saw its strongest second quarter since the 2008 recession, with sales volume reaching $10.6 billion, up 11 percent from the same period a year ago, according to a report released Tuesday by Virginia Association of Realtors.

The rise in dollar value was attributed to an increase in the number of homes sold, since the median sales price — with half the homes selling for more and half for less — fell slightly.

The median price in Virginia was $259,990 in the second quarter, down 2.6 percent from the same period a year ago, according to the report.

The number of sales statewide in the same time period rose 9.9 percent to 31,650.

The median price rose in six of seven regions, including central Virginia, where it ticked up 5.7 percent in the second quarter to $219,000 from a year ago.

Central Virginia is made up of Richmond, the Tri-Cities and 18 surrounding counties. (The Richmond Association of Realtors reported last week that the median sales price was $223,530 for the 16-jurisdiction that makes up its Central Virginia region.)

The number of sales in the region during the quarter rose 13.9 percent from a year ago to 5,336, the Virginia Association of Realtors said.

“The strength of these second-quarter results points to sustained improvement in Virginia’s residential real estate market,” said Deborah Baisden, president of the Virginia Association of Realtors.

Hampton Roads/Chesapeake area reported the only decline in median sales price — $202,000, down 5.4 percent from the year-ago period. However, the number of sales there rose 11.6 percent to 7,054, the Realtors’ group reported.

The relatively flat aggregate sale prices can be attributed to negligible price changes in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia areas, the two largest selling regions.

Northern Virginia recorded a median price of $390,000 in the second quarter, up 0.5 percent from a year ago. The number of sales there rose 8.4 percent to 14,163 from a year ago.

Second-quarter home sales increased in all price categories except the lowest — $100,000 and below — indicating low market inventory in this price range and/or higher financial barriers to buyers in this market segment, according to the Realtors’ group.

The majority of homes sold were in the $100,000 to $200,000 and $200,000 to $300,000 ranges, up 6.8 percent and 14 percent respectively. The largest percentage increase was recorded in the $300,000 to $400,000 category, which saw a 16.6 percent increase from a year ago.

Copyright Richmond Times-Dispatch. Used by Permission.