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Hampton Roads Real Estate Update July 2012

The Hampton Roads real estate market offered up some promising statistics for July that suggest the region may be on the road to recovery. Significant increases in residential under contract and settled sales, combined with a downswing in the number of residential active listings and the months’ supply of inventory are all healthy indicators of a market on the rebound.

Residential pending sales increased 25.35% year-over-year for July 2012. This is the largest year-over-year increase since January 2012 when residential pending sales rose 32.9%. Newport News, with a modest increase of just 3.57%, was the region’s only major city not to experience a rise of 14% or higher. Suffolk and Chesapeake saw the largest year-over-year surges at 36.47% and 30.95% respectively. Though no guarantee, high under contract counts are often a pre-curser to a high volume of settled sales in the near future.

Closed Sales

The region saw a 20% increase in residential closed sales in July 2012 when compared to July 2011. Each of the seven major cities in Hampton Roads experienced year-over-year increases. Hampton and Chesapeake saw the largest growth at 38.24% and 27.69% respectively. Norfolk had the smallest year over year increase at only 0.94%. Also in the good news column, the median sales price for residential settled sales in the region climbed to $209,900, a 6.28% year-over-year increase from July 2011 when the median sales price was 197,500. This marks the fifth consecutive month the median sales price has increased year-over-year.

Listings are dropping

The number of residential homes listed for sale in Hampton Roads continues to decline and active listings are down 18.16% when compared to July 2011.

This marks the 17th consecutive month that residential active listings have dropped year-over-year. This steady downswing in residential active listings has resulted in a lower month’s supply inventory, now at 7.27 months. A 6 months’ supply of inventory is considered a “normal” market.

Despite  industry rumors of a “shadow inventory” of REO listings still to be unleashed on the market, distressed homes continue to drop as a percentage of the region’s residential active listings. Distressed homes accounted for 24.22% of residential active listings in July 2012, The ninth consecutive month that distressed homes have declined as a percentage of the market.

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