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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.