Residential sales market shows strongest second quarter since 2008 recession.
The Virginia residential real estate market experienced its strongest second quarter since the 2008 recession, with sales volume reaching nearly $10.6 billion during the April through June time frame. This sales volume represents an 11 percent increase relative to the second quarter of 2014 ($9.5 billion), according to the Second Quarter 2015 Home Sales Report released by Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR).
The dollar value of the volume increase is due primarily to an increased number of units sold for the comparable time periods (2014-Q2 to 2015-Q2), since the median sales price remained relatively static. While most regions of Virginia saw moderate improvement in year-over-year median sales price, the flat aggregate median sales price can be attributed to the negligible change and a year-over-year decline in the two largest selling regions, Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, respectively.
“This data showcases the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of our 30,000 REALTORS® who are helping to drive the economic engine of the Commonwealth one transaction at a time. The strength of these second quarter results points to sustained improvement in Virginia’s residential real estate market,” says VAR President Deborah Baisden.
Annualized residential sales, a rolling sum of the home sales closed in the preceding twelve months, indicate steady improvement in Virginia’s housing market with three consecutive quarters of increase in this measure. The second quarter boost is due largely to a June sales surge, which reflects an atypical month-over-month jump of 21 percent from May sales. April and May 2015 outpaced the same months of 2014, but not as drastically as the June to June comparison.
With interest rates remaining at historic lows, buyers are able to capitalize on lower average mortgage rates in both 30-year and 15-year loans than they were at this time last year. Compared to the second quarter of last year, 2015 second quarter home sales increased in all price bands except the lowest $0-$100K range. Lagging sales in the low price range may result from low market inventory in this category and/or higher financial barrier to buyers in this market segment. The most substantial increases in sales activity appear in the $100K-$200K and $200K-$300K ranges.
Length of time on the market decreased substantially from the first quarter, as is industry-cyclic. Relative to the same quarter last year, the number of days on the market decreased by 6.8 percent, showing a slight quickening to the seasonal pace. Virginia’s pace is on trend with national listing data for days on the market.
The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by the Virginia Association of REALTORS®. Current and past reports are available to members, media, and real estate related-industries through the organization’s website www.varealtor.com/homesales.