The Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS® (VPAR) is a professional trade organization representing the interests of over 1000 real estate professionals in the Peninsula localities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Smithfield, Isle of Wight County and York County.
VPAR began in 1920 as the Newport News Real Estate and Insurance Exchange, and boasted a membership of 19. The Exchange allowed membership for firms only; annual dues were $18 unless the company engaged in both insurance and real estate, which carried a yearly fee of $24.
In 1925, the organization became the Newport News-Hampton Real Estate and Insurance Exchange. Two decades had passed when in 1947 the Elizabeth City County Real Estate and Insurance Association was formed at the Central Restaurant in Hampton; this later became the Hampton Real Estate and Insurance Association. The two professions remained united in a single trade organization until 1952, when the peninsula Association of Insurance Agents was formed; a year later, the real estate side of the organization became known as the Newport News-Warwick Real Estate Board. An MLS was created in 1958, and after consolidation of the cities of Newport News and Warwick, the Newport News Real Estate Board was created. Finally, in April of 1962, after several previous attempts, the Newport News Real Estate Board and the Hampton Real Estate & Insurance Association merged to become the Newport News-Hampton Real Estate Board. The newly merged association’s 1st president was Russell Winfree, who was elected in 1964.
By the time the 70’s rolled around, the Association boasted 340 members and an executive secretary had been hired. With women making strides through the nation during this time, the Board of REALTORS® was no exception – it elected its first female president in 1974: Ruth Nunnally. The organization established its headquarters at 764 McGuire Place in Newport News. In the 80’s, the Association saw its first African-American President, Moses Easter; established a computerized MLS; and hired its second Executive Vice President. The building was expanded to accommodate additional staff, meeting rooms and a member services center.
The 1990’s witnessed the merger of the Association’s MLS with the former Metro MLS in the Tidewater area to form REIN – the Real Estate Information Network. The first female Executive Vice President was hired, staff was reduced and a leaner, more efficient Association with a focus on core services surfaced. In May of 1996 VPAR broke ground on a new headquarters building and education center located at 1001 North Campus Parkway in Hampton. Construction was completed and the building opened its doors in January of 2007. The facility has a 150 seat classroom, an expanded REALTOR® store, as well as first class office space and conference rooms.