Second Quarter Housing Report Bodes Well for Local Buyers, Sellers, and REALTORS®

July 30, 2013

Richmond, Va. – As of the second quarter of 2013, job levels in the Richmond region have increased to 2,000 above their peak in 2007—providing a strong economic foundation for the continued recovery of the region’s housing market.

The area’s housing market performed well in the second quarter of the year, with increases in sales, pending sales, and prices. Although inventory levels remain lower than the levels of active listings during the same time period last year, there have been modest but steady inventory level increases each quarter over the last since the end of 2012.

During the second quarter of 2013, 4,265 existing homes were sold within the Central Virginia Regional MLS jurisdiction—a 12 percent increase over the same quarter last year.

Examples of sales increases include:
• The City of Richmond posted a 21% sales increase over the second quarter of 2012
• The Richmond Metro Area posted a 10% sales increase over the second quarter of 2012
• The Tri-Cities area posted a 37% sales increase over the second quarter of 2012.

All jurisdictions in the Tri-Cities area—with the exception of Dinwiddie—experienced double digit increases in sales activity, when compared with the same quarter last year.

The pace of sales activity has continued to place upward pressure on home sale prices in most of the Central Virginia market. Both the average and median sales prices reflected 6 percent increases over the same quarter last year. Prices have been steadily increasing region-wide for about a year, and are back to about 85 percent of their peak.

Additionally, the average days-on-market has continued to decline, while the ratio of average sale price to average list price is on the rise. Sellers in the region are receiving, on average, 98 percent of their asking price for a home sale. This number is up more than a percentage point from a year ago, and has been steadily increasing since 2011—indicating healthy demand and reasonable expectations on the part of sellers.

Pending sales (traditionally a strong indicator of final sales) are up even higher than final sales—posting a 14 percent increase over the same quarter last year. This trend could indicate that transactions are proceeding more quickly, as foreclosures and short sales are being drawn ever more quickly from the inventory.

“REALTORS® in Central Virginia are seeing the effects of the overall improved economy, with more buyers anxious to buy before interest rates increase further and sellers feeling confident in placing their homes for sale,” said Linda Terry, 2013 President of the Richmond Association of REALTORS® and the Central Virginia Regional MLS.  “Many people who have been in a holding pattern throughout the recession are now ready to move forward in life, whether it’s buying that first home, moving up in size to accommodate a growing family, or downsizing to a ‘lock and leave’ home, with less upkeep.”

“Area residents are fortunate to have a wide variety of communities from which to choose, including new construction that is fast tracking to keep up with increasing demand,” she added.  “We look forward to a continued strong housing market through 2013 and beyond,” Linda concluded.

Courtesy of the Richmond Association of REALTORS® and the Central Virginia Regional Multiple Listing Service