What’s on tap for residential housing in 2016?
While home sales typically slow in January, Virginia’s market enters 2016 with wind in its sails.
According to a third-quarter 2015 report from the Virginia Association of Realtors, the residential sales market rose 11 percent from the third quarter of 2014. The state saw sales of 31,176 units for a transactional volume of $10.1 billion.
Year over year, the number of homes sold rose in every price category except $1 million and more, with the most significant increases of closed deals in the price range of $300,000 to $500,000.
The activity indicates a market on the upswing, bolstered by job gains and consumer confidence. Virginia’s unemployment rate stood at 4.2 percent in October. Low mortgage rates, expected to creep up in the New Year, also inspired buyers to action.
Statewide, the median sales price for a single-family home (with half the houses selling for more and half for less) rose to $265,000 in the third quarter, a boost from 2014 and a rise of nearly 7 percent from the third quarter of 2012. The Virginia median also was higher than the national median for U.S. homes, which stood at $207,500 in October, according to RealtyTrac.
Sales volume and prices vary around the state. The median sales price in the Richmond market for the third quarter was $216,000, up 3.3 percent from the previous year, compared to $375,000 for Northern Virginia, where the median had fallen by 1.3 percent.
Upward pressure on rental rates is encouraging first-time buyers into the market — a trend real estate pros expect will continue in 2016.