March 2017 real estate statistics for the Hampton Roads region followed a familiar trend since the market started to correct itself. Available inventory continues to maintain a steady year-over-year decline that began in August 2015, while pending and settled sales remain strong as they have since mid-2014. One encouraging change with residential active listings, is that distressed vs. total residential active units is the lowest percentage since REIN began tracking this statistic in 2009.
Residential active listings declined 9.28% from 11,158 units in March 2016 to 10,122 units in March 2017. Each of the region’s seven major cities (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, and Newport News) experienced weakening inventories year-over-year, with the most significant occurrence in Portsmouth, down 13.76%. Following very closely, Virginia Beach, Suffolk and Hampton all underwent declines between 12.03% and 12.58%.
The region’s months’ supply of residential homes inventory is currently sitting at 4.69 months, down 15.95% from March 2016 when it was 5.58 months. March marks the fifth consecutive month with the supply of inventory below 5 months. Prior to recent history, the Hampton Roads market has never experienced an inventory below 5 months since REIN began tracking this statistic in 2009. Maintaining the lowest supply of the seven major cities, Virginia Beach displayed 3.57 months of inventory in March 2017, and was the single city to measure below 4%.
March’s residential pending sales rose a substantial 14.97% compared to the same period of time last year. 2,849 homes went under contract in March 2017. The most significant gain from the major cities was experienced by Portsmouth, with 40.88% more pending contracts than in March 2016. Suffolk also experienced momentous gains, up 34.62% year-over-year. Chesapeake was the only major city to suffer a decline (though slight), down 0.92% from March 2016.
Residential settled sales increased year-over-year last month. March 2017 recorded 2,231 settled sales, up 4.99% from the 2,125 homes sold in March 2016. Of the major cities, Suffolk and Newport News had the most sizable gains, rising 26.23% and 20.59% respectively. Hampton was the only major city to experience a year-over-year decline, dropping a marginal 1.28%. The region’s residential median sales price rose 3.73% in March 2017, up to $219,900 from $212,000 in March 2016.
The number of distressed homes, those that are either short sales or foreclosures, have significantly decreased over the years. During March 2017, distressed homes accounted for just 12.17% of all residential active listings. While this was down only a marginal .90% from the same period of time last year, it is the lowest percentage since REIN began tracking the data in August 2009. Similarly, March’s distressed homes accounted for only 14.78% of all residential settled sales, a decrease of 3.42% from March 2016. When REIN began tracking distressed vs. total residential sold units in June 2008, the percentage was just 5.25%, and peaked at 42.8% in March 2011.