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ArlingtonReal EstateVa. home prices up 9.4% in 2021

Va. home prices up 9.4% in 2021

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The median sales price of homes that sold across Virginia in 2021 was up 9.4 percent to $350,000, with six of eight geographic reporting areas showing double-digit increases compared to 2020.

Year-end sales figures were reported Jan. 21 by the Virginia Realtors trade group, showing home sales of 140,039 for the year gone by. That’s an increase of 10.2 percent from 2020, representing continued strength in the market despite lingering COVID concerns and limits on inventory.

Those inventory issues limited the market in December, which saw year-over-year home sales down 5 percent statewide (to 12,043) compared to a year before, and declines reported in all but the far southwestern portion of the commonwealth.

But for the full 12-month period, it was a different story. Home sales were up in all eight reporting areas, with the increases ranging from 3.7 percent to 13.3 percent.

Northern Virginia showed a 12.7-percent jump in sales for the year, rising to 55,448 – or about one in every three sales that occurred in 2021.
(“Northern Virginia” to the Realtors’ group means not only the inner and outer suburbs of Washington, but also areas ranging south to Fredericksburg and west to the West Virginia line.”)

When comparing 2021 to 2020, price appreciation occurred in every one of the eight geographic areas:

• The median sales price of homes that sold in Northern Virginia was $535,000, up 10.3 percent.

• The median price in central Virginia was $325,000, up 12.5 percent.

• The median price in eastern Virginia was $297,104, up 13.8 percent.

• The median price in the Hampton Roads area was $288,000, up 8.7 percent.

• The median price in the Shenandoah Valley was $273,100, up 10.6 percent.

• The median price in west-central Virginia was $234,600, up 9.6 percent.

• The median price in Southwest Virginia was $172,500, up 17.7 percent.

• The median price in Southside Virginia was $154,000, up 18.5 percent.

Add up all the sales and prices, and total statewide market volume in 2021 was $66.8 billion, up 22 percent from a year before.

“Virginia’s housing market is very strong. The biggest challenge in the market is a lack of inventory,” said 2022 Virginia Realtors’ president Denise Ramey. “Sales are slowing down a bit because buyers are having a hard time finding homes to consider.”

At the end of December, there was just a one-month supply of homes on the market, well below the three-month total that would be needed for the market to be in balance between buyers and sellers. Buyers have one-quarter fewer homes to choose from at the end of 2021 than they had at the end of 2020.

Whether that continues into 2022 remains an open question; there is speculation that those who have been holding back on sellers might test the market in springtime, opening the floodgates to increased inventory. That could help buyers and bring a more balanced market to the commonwealth.

But the specter of rising interest rates remains a concern, as does the spiraling-upward price of the homes themselves, as home-value appreciation has outstripped wage gains (which themselves are being blunted by inflation impacts).

A “flash survey” of Virginia Realtors by their membership organization in December found that only 8 percent of respondents reported sales activity in their area was “high to very high.” But the same survey found respondents bullish about 2022, as many were expecting a strong spring market.

For more information, see the Website at www.virginiarealtors.org.

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