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The Hampton Roads Multiple Listing Service

Strong Pending Sales Result in Lower Inventory Despite an Increase in New Listings

The New Year has brought more new listings to the Hampton Roads region as active inventory levels continue to decline. In January 2019, 3,663 new listings (includes all property types) were added to the MLS database, a 12.36% increase from January 2018. During the same time period, the number of total active listings in the region (all property types active in the MLS) was 10,317, a drop of 5.11% year-over-year. Despite the influx of new listings in January, strong pending sales (up 23.89% year-over-year) mean that low inventory levels persist as we kick off 2019.

In January 2019, residential active listings for the region were down 5.04% year-over-year with 8,331 available homes, down from 8,773 in January 2018. This is the 42nd 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 Portsmouth and Newport News experiencing the greatest declines at 12.62% and 11% respectively.

January’s supply of residential home inventory is currently at 3.61 months, down 7.91% from the same period of time last year. This is the 45th 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. Chesapeake is the lowest with a current inventory at 2.96 months, significantly below the six months that is typically considered a balanced market.

The number of homes that went under contract in January 2019 (2,169 units) rose a substantial 24.08% compared to January 2018, continuing a trend where 55 of the past 56 months have exhibited increases. All seven of the region’s major cities experienced year-over-year increases in January, with Suffolk and Hampton escalating 50.52% and 32.61% respectively. Each of the remaining major cities also underwent double digit increases, except for Portsmouth which rose a more modest 4.51% year-over-year.

Though not as robust as pending sales, the region’s overall residential settled sales in January 2019 also increased year-over-year by 0.12%, closing just 2 more homes than the same period of time last year. Of the major cities, three experienced year-over-year growth, with Newport News showing the largest increase of 29.06%. The remaining four cities saw drops ranging from 2.07% to 13.79%.

The region’s residential median sales price for January 2019 was $220,000, down 2.22% from January 2018 when it was $225,000. Norfolk and Newport News were the only two of the seven major cities to experience gains in median sales price, rising 5.21% and 3.41% respectively. All other major cities saw declines between 1.79% to 7.43%.

The number of distressed homes in the Hampton Roads region, those that are either short sales or foreclosures, has continued to decreased. In January 2019, distressed homes accounted for just 12.10% of all residential settled sales, down 2.23% year-over-year. Similarly, distressed homes accounted for only 9.50% of all residential active listings in January 2019, down 2.85% year-over-year.