February continued the local real estate market’s trend of increasing sales volume and median price coupled with decreasing days on market FAAR Board Member Randy Walther states, “The market was active for February continuing a strong winter season. My office was busy with sellers listing early to take advantage of warm weather and sparse listings in the area. Buyers are seeing the benefit of historically low interest rates.” But the excitement over a hot February is certainly tempered by fears of a coronavirus-fueled recession and what that could mean for real estate across the country.
Sold dollar volume was up in February nearly 35%, jumping from approximately $106.4 million last February to more than $143.5 million this year. The increase in volume was fueled by a more than 20% increase in units sold and a more than 15% increase in median sold price. There were 429 properties sold this year compared to 357 last February with a median price of $316,000 in 2020 compared to $274,000 in February 2019.
Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract and is removed from active status on the multiple listing service, fell 8% with houses averaging 56 days on the market in February 2020 compared to 61 days in February 2019.
Overall active listings were down nearly 18% this February compared to last year, but the month posted a more than 8% increase in new listings coming on the market. Prospective buyers have 1,140 homes to choose from right now, with 783 new listings coming onto the market. Commenting on the market for February, Walther observes, “It appears that there is no real buying and selling season anymore. When a property comes on the market there is always a surge of activity. If there was more to sell there would be more buyers.”
Virginia Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Lisa Sturtevant advises that the economic fundamentals that support a healthy housing market remain strong in the Commonwealth and that the housing market is well-positioned to handle a short-term impact on the economy from coronavirus. High-income households could see dampened demand as they tend to have more money tied up in the stock market and may be planning to use those now fluctuating resources on a new home purchase. If concern about the virus continues, there could be a modest slowdown in traffic and homes sales in the weeks to come. However, if that does happen, it is expected to be of short duration and the lost sales will likely be made up in future months