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Month Supply of Inventory Shrinks Despite Decrease in Sales

Inventory still remains low in the Hampton Roads market, despite a slight decrease in pending sales activity. The region added only 2,883 new listings (all property types) to the market in November, a decrease of 2.90% year-over-year and 822 units less than the previous month. There has been a decrease in active inventory for the last 3 months.

In November 2018, residential active listings for the region were down 7.29% year-over-year with 8,990 available homes, down from 9,697 in November 2017. This is the 40th consecutive month that active listings have declined year-over-year. Six of the region’s seven major cities (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Hampton) underwent decreased inventory, with Portsmouth and Norfolk experiencing the greatest declines at 14.41% and 12.54% respectively. Newport News was the only major city to realize an increase, though very modest at just .42%.

Despite a slight decrease in settled sales, November’s supply of residential home inventory in the region is currently 3.87 months, down 11.24% from the same period of time last year. This marks the 43st consecutive time that the months’ supply of inventory has declined year-over-year, a trend that started in May 2015, and one that largely favors sellers. All of the region’s major cities currently maintain inventories below 5 months, with Chesapeake the lowest at 3.25 months.

Pending sales remain steady in Hampton Roads. For November 2018, residential pending sales rose 5.31% year-over-year, continuing the trend where 53 of the past 54 months have exhibited increases. Of the area’s major cities, only Chesapeake and Suffolk recorded negative growth in residential pending sales. Hampton and Norfolk recorded the largest gains with 23.78% and 16.36% respectively.

Residential settled sales experienced a minimal year-over-year increase of .25% in November 2018, although 303 less units than the previous month. Among the major cities, Hampton and Chesapeake saw the largest declines at 7.69% and 4.68% respectively, while Newport News experience a significant increase at 22.76%.

The median sales price has remained the same as the previous month at $235,000, marking the first time in 50 months where there was not an increase. Of the region’s major cities, only two cities (Norfolk and Portsmouth) experienced decreases in median residential sales prices at 1.04% and 3.57% respectively.

The number of distressed homes in the Hampton Roads region, those that are either short sales or foreclosures, saw a barely noticeable decrease of .03% from the previous month. In November 2018, distressed homes accounted for just 10.14% of all residential settled sales, down 1.5% year-over-year. Similarly, distressed homes accounted for only 9.37% of all residential active listings in November 2018, down 2.80% year-over-year.