Virginia home sales increased in 2009’s fourth quarter

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Homes sales in Virginia’s metropolitan areas ticked up during the fourth quarter of 2009.  According to a report released today by Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., the most dramatic increase, 45 percent, came in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Newport News region with 4,784 units sold.

In the Washington, D.C., region, sales rose by 13 percent with 16,989 units sold. In Richmond, sales increased 31 percent, 2,962 units sold, while Roanoke sales were up 23 percent, with 759 units sold. 

“…Unit sales have picked up significantly from the prior year across all of our markets,” said Barry S. Redler, a spokesman for Chantilly-based Long & Foster. “Buyers are responding to improved affordability driven by attractive pricing and continued low mortgage rates. And with the increased sales pace, this is presenting an opportunity for sellers as well.”

The Long & Foster Market Conditions Report notes that the Washington market shows continued signs of recovery with average sales prices there rising 2 percent compared with the same time a year ago. In the other Virginia markets, average sales prices were slightly down in the fourth quarter, compared with the same time in 2008. However, all markets showed an increase in the final sales price as a percent of the list price, suggesting that sellers are pricing closer to market value.

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