Home sales increase 18% in November; prices up 12% year-over-year

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The pace of Virginia home sales continued to increase in October 2012 with a 12% increase to 7,017 home sales — after only a 2% increase between September 2011 and 2012. Low unemployment rates in Virginia, as well as record low mortgage interest rates, have helped Virginia’s residential housing market continue to grow throughout 2012. Monthly home sales are likely to remain at current levels through the end of the year, before declining in January.

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Alongside a 12% increase in the pace of home sales in Virginia (see Page 2), we also witnessed an increase in median sales prices in Virginia. The median sales price in October 2012 ($235,000) marks a 9% increase from one year earlier ($215,000), and a 2% increase from two years ago ($229,900).

It is typical in Virginia to see declines in median sales price between July and January, so we should expect to see median prices continue to decline during through the fall and winter months. Despite
these seasonal declines, the increased pace of buyer activity is certainly helping to provide further stabilization and growth in median sales prices.

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The total volume of real estate sold in Virginia during October 2012 ($2.011B) marks a significant 17% increase in the volume of real estate being transferred as compared to last October.  Given the recent increases in median sales prices (see Page 3), we should expect to see further increases in overall sales volume as the pace of sales increases (see Page 2).

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Virginia’s housing market experienced a 12% decline over the past year in average days on market to the current average of 87 days.  This decline in days on market is after a 15% increase in the same metric during the previous year.

It is typical to see an increase in average days on market during the fall and winter months, thus we will likely see this metric start to increase over the next several months.

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Average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates rose ever so slightly in October 2012 to 3.41% — making this the second lowest interest rates in the history of tracking mortgage interest rates.  These tremendously low interest rates make it quite compelling for buyers to step into the market, given how they can protect themselves from inflation by fixing their housing costs at such a low, long term rate.



Realtor with Greg Garrett Realty, actively licensed in the state of Virginia

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