August 2016 residential real estate sales have strengthened markedly relative to August of last year and brought strength back to the third quarter following a contracted July. The number of August transactions grew year-over-year by 12.5 percent, from 10,204 sales to 11,482. Atypical of industry seasonality, August 2016 sales were slightly higher than July sales; the market typically peaks in June and begins to taper through the end of the year. Greater August sales may reflect that more inventory has come onto the market, expanding buying opportunities and boosting sales and volume. Following seasonal tendency, August median price declined slightly month-over-month and from the June peak, but was 1.7 percent higher than in the same month last year ($272,500 over $268,000 in 2015). Average length of time on the market was significantly lower, declining 13 percent (from 69 days last August to 60 in August 2016). The value of transactions for August 2016 was $3.793 billion, a significant 14.8 percent jump from August 2015. Volume through the end of August 2016 exceeded $25.941 billion, a gain of 6.8 percent from last year’s accumulation of $24.294 billion. Year-to-date measures continue to build significantly upon 2015 and prior year performance.
July 2016 residential real estate sales have slowed from this point last year, though year-to-date performance remains strong. Year-over-year, the number of transactions fell by 4.7 percent, from 11,820 sales to 11,265. The value of transactions for July 2016 was $3.797 billion, 4 percent lower than in July 2015. Despite a moderate decline in pace and volume for July, year-to-date measures have outperformed 2015. Volume through the end of July 2016 exceeded $22.071 billion, a gain of 5.1 percent from last year’s accumulation of $20.992 billion.
Reflecting typical industry tempo, July sales declined from June; historically, the market climbs each month through June before tapering into the third quarter. Following the same seasonal trend, median price fell 4 percent month-over-month, from $289,500 in June to $278,000 in July. Median price did outperform last July by 1.1 percent, rising from $275,000. Average length of time on the market decreased 6.3 percent, from 64 days last July to 60 in July 2016. Rising median price and declining time on the market reflect limited inventory.
The Virginia residential real estate market has continued year-over-year and longer term improvement according to the Second Quarter 2016 Home Sales Report released by the Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR). Both the total number of sales and the value of transactions rose from the same period last year, to 34,688 units and $11.720 billion, respectively. Volume – the sum of all transactions for April, May, and June of 2016 – was 8.6 percent higher than the same period last year, and nearly 20 percent higher than the second quarter of 2014. Annualized residential sales, a rolling sum of the home sales closed in the preceding twelve months, rose from 109,574 units in the last quarter to 112,019 (up 2.2 percent). Year-over-year, annualized sales rose by 7.6 percent (from 104,091 in the second quarter of 2015). Consecutive periods of improvement in annualized sales, as demonstrated in Virginia’s market, indicate sustained market strengthening. Boosted by continued low interest rates and increasing seasonal activity, second quarter 2016 sales also rose 7.6 percent from the same period last year, from 32,243 to 34,688.
According to the May 2016 Home Sales Report released by the Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR), the Virginia housing market continues a strong growth trend. Year-over-year, the number of transactions rose by nearly 11 percent, from 10,369 sales to 11,499. The value of transactions for May 2016 rose above $3.861 billion, gaining 10 percent on the same month last year. Typical of industry seasonality, May sales rose above April figures; historically, the market improves each month through June. Median price rose month-over-month by just over 4.5 percent, from $265,000 to $277,000. Relative to last year, the median price rose slightly from a May 2015 benchmark of $275,000. The marginal change in price from last May indicates that the volume surge this year is because of the significant jump in number of transactions. Further indicating market strength, average length of time on the market compressed from 67 days last May to 62 in May 2016, quickening by 7.5 percent. Rising median price and declining time on the market reflect limited inventory. With access to historically low interest rates, buyers may be motivated to enter the market with a sense of urgency as inventory constraints continue to press prices up.