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The Hampton Roads Multiple Listing Service

Home Sales Up in February

Even as the active inventory of homes for sale continues to decline in the Hampton Roads region, pending and settled sales persist with considerable year-over-year increases.

In February 2019, residential active listings for the region were down 4.93% year-over-year with 8,457 available homes, down from 8,896 in February 2018. This is the 43nd consecutive month that active listings have declined year-over-year. All seven of the region’s seven major cities (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton and Newport News) underwent decreased inventory, with Newport News experiencing the greatest decline at 11.76%.

February’s supply of residential home inventory is currently at 3.63 months, down 8.33% from the same period of time last year. This is the 46th consecutive month that the months’ supply of inventory had declined year-over-year. The months’ supply for six of the seven major cities is below 4 months. Virginia Beach is the lowest with a current inventory at 2.91 months, significantly below the six months that is typically considered a balanced market.

The number of homes that went under contract in February 2019 (2,270 units) rose a sizeable 12.10% compared to February 2018, continuing a trend where 56 of the past 57 months have exhibited increases. Portsmouth was the only major city in the region to experience a year-over-year decline in pending sales, down 2.08% from the same time period in 2018. Hampton and Newport News underwent the most significant increases, at 38.24% and 38.03% respectively.

Similarly, the region’s settled sales for February rose 16.40% year-over-year, closing 249 more homes than February 2018. Of the region’s major cities, Portsmouth was the only city to experience a year-over-year decrease at 3.25%. Suffolk, Newport News and Virginia Beach all saw increases over 20%.

The area’s residential median sales price for February 2019 was $229,000, up 1.78% from February 2018 when it was $225,000. Four of the region’s major cities (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Newport News) experienced gains in median sales price, rising between 3.37% and 9.83%. The remaining three cities (Suffolk, Portsmouth and Hampton) saw declines between 0.40% - 7.69%.

The number of distressed homes in the Hampton Roads, those that are either short sales or foreclosures, has continued to decreased. In February 2019, distressed homes accounted for just 9.52% of all residential settled sales, down 5.41% year-over-year. Similarly, distressed homes accounted for only 9.60% of all residential active listings in February 2019, down 2.64% year-over-year.