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FairfaxReal EstateVa. homes market coming back to seasonal norms

Va. homes market coming back to seasonal norms

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A comeback in what might be called urban-village communities in parts of Virginia is helping to lead a strong, though increasingly back-to-seasonal, statewide home market.

A total of 13,424 properties went to closing across the commonwealth in October, according to figures reported by the Virginia Realtors trade group.

That’s down 6.4 percent from the 12,570 transactions reported in October 2020, but the autumn of last year was a time of stronger-than-normal home-sales strength, as the market was making up for the period lost during the initial onset of the pandemic in the spring.

For the first 10 months of the year, there have been 128,518 home sales across the commonwealth, up 13.5 percent from 2020, and some of the biggest increases in sales activity in 2021 have been in the state’s more urban markets, including Arlington County as well as the cities of Fredericksburg, Williamsburg, Hampton, Portsmouth, and Newport News.


This renewed interest in closer-in jurisdictions has led to more sales of townhomes and condominiums.

“City neighborhoods across Virginia offer a lot of amenities, so it’s not surprising that these communities are starting to attract buyers as concerns about the pandemic ease,” said Virginia Realtors’ 2021 president Beth Dalton.

As COVID-19 cases surged last year, prospective home buyers were less eager to search for homes in densely populated areas and were more likely to purchase in areas farther from population centers. Remote work made it easier for home buyers to live farther from their offices, and quarantining increased the desire for more space.

“While some people will continue to work remotely, it’s becoming clear that hybrid work will be more common – working some days at home and some at the office,” said Virginia Realtors’ chief economist Lisa Sturtevant. “Living closer to the office will be more important as businesses return to in-person work.”

Across the eight geographic areas of the commonwealth, sales were down for October in six (including an 11.2-percent drop in Northern Virginia), were up 2.2 percent in Hampton Roads and were essentially unchanged in the Shenandoah Valley. All eight areas reported year-to-date increases compared to 2020, with the bumps up ranging from 5.4 percent to 15.9 percent.

Virginia’s median home sales price in October was $350,000, up 5.1 percent, with increases ranging from 3.7 percent in the Shenandoah Valley to 16.6 percent in Southside Virginia.

For the first 10 months of 2021, the median sales price was also $350,000, up 9.7 percent from $319,000 a year before.

Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market. October 2021 figures are preliminary and subject to change.

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