The continued decline in residential active inventory throughout the Hampton Roads region has not dampened sales activity. In February 2018, pending and settled sales once again rose year-over year.
The region’s residential active listings were down 7.55% year-over-year for the month of February, with 8,896 available homes. The area’s active inventory has declined year-over-year for 31 consecutive months. Each of the region’s seven major cities (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton and Newport News) experienced decreased inventory ranging from 0.59% (Virginia Beach) to 16.48% (Norfolk).
February’s supply of residential home inventory is currently 3.96 months, down 11.61% from the same period of time last year. This is the third consecutive month with the months’ supply below 4 months. Real estate economists describe a balanced market as 6 months’ supply of inventory. In comparison, the Hampton Roads region has been below a six months’ supply since November 2015, and it has declined year-over-year since May 2015.
In contrast to the declining inventory, residential pending sales recorded healthy gains. The number of homes that went under contract in February 2018 rose 8.98% compared to February 2017, with 2,172 units. Portsmouth experienced a dramatic rise in pending sales, up 40.54% over last year. Virginia Beach was up 15.04%. Norfolk and Chesapeake were the only major cities with a decline in pending sales year-over-year, down 3.85% and 1.15% respectively.
Residential settled sales also experienced year-over-year growth. February 2018 recorded 1,518 sales, up 3.41% more than last year’s 1,468 sales. Of the region’s seven major cities, Portsmouth underwent the most significant increase, up 41.38%. Newport News, Norfolk and Hampton saw more modest advances at 7.0%, 2.7%, and 2.68% respectively. Chesapeake, Virginia Beach and Suffolk experience year-over-year declines in settled sales ranging from 1.93% - 12.5%.
The region’s residential median sales price rose a modest 4.65% in February 2018 to $225,000 (the same median sales price for January 2018), as compared to $215,000 in 2017. All of the major cities experienced gains in median sales price ranging from .58% (Suffolk) to 13.56% (Portsmouth), except for Norfolk, which was down 3.46% at $211,875.