Home sales in Hampton Roads and across the state are showing signs of continued growth and strength – signs that region’s housing market is climbing out from the depths of the Great Recession.
Realtors in Virginia sold 19,298 homes during the first quarter of 2015, according to a recent report by the Virginia Association of Realtors. That’s a 6.3 percent increase over the 18,153 residential units they sold during the first quarter of 2014.
The increase in home sales represented $5.8 billion in real estate sold during the first quarter of 2015, an 8.5 percent increase over $5.4 billion in sales during the first quarter of 2014, the report said.
“This year’s first-quarter sales volume is nearly $1 billion greater than the first quarter of 2012, and a half a billion greater than the first quarter of 2013,” said Mel Jones, a research associate at Virginia Tech’s Virginia Center of Housing.
While the report does not reflect all transactions — not all real estate agents are Realtors — it does highlight state housing markets that are either improving or continuing to struggle.
Hampton Roads home sales, which includes new and existing single-family, townhome and condo residences, exceeded state trends.
According to the report, Hampton Roads home sales are gathered from the cities of Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, Williamsburg, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Suffolk and Portsmouth, the Middle Peninsula, the Eastern Shore, and James City and York counties.
Overall, 4,851 residences were sold in the Hampton Roads region during the first quarter of 2015, according to the report. That’s up 11.4 percent from the 4,356 residences sold during the first quarter of 2014, with James City and York counties leading home-sale growth on the Peninsula.
Chesapeake and Suffolk in south Hampton Roads also posted impressive residential home sale gains last quarter.
The southwest Virginia region, which includes Lynchburg and Roanoke, led the state in overall home-sale growth at 18.5 percent, according to the report. Metro Richmond was second, posting a 15.9 percent growth rate.
Northern Virginia was tops in the state in the amount of home-sale volume – posting 7,733 home sales last quarter, which was down 0.4 percent from 7,766 residences sold during the first quarter of 2014.
The southern Virginia area, which includes Danville and Emporia, experienced the highest decrease in home sales last quarter – recording 374 homes sales, down 2.6 percent from the first quarter of 2014.
Median home prices also increased.
The median price for home in Hampton Roads was $202,000 during the first quarter of 2015, according to the report. That’s up nearly 5 percent from $193,000 during the first quarter of 2014.
Housing officials expect the momentum to continue.
“The first quarter is the harbinger for a strong selling season,” said Deborah Baisden, president of the Virginia Association of Realtors.