Greater Richmond Market Sees Increasing Sales, Lower Inventory


CHANTILLY, Va., June 21, 2010–The Greater Richmond real estate market, including Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover and Goochland counties and Richmond City, has continued to experience a number of positive trends compared to May of last year, according The Long & Foster Market Minute™ reports.  Many areas in the Richmond region experienced a decrease in total active inventory and some regions saw a significant increase in year-over-year existing home sales. The Long & Foster Market Minute™ reports are compiled from data from residential real estate transactions within specific geographic regions, not just Long & Foster sales.

 According to May data, total active inventory across the entire Richmond market has decreased, an indicator of a market moving toward stabilization. Henrico and Hanover counties were each down 12 percent since last year to 2,348 active units and 1,078 units, respectively. Chesterfield County saw a year-over-year decrease of total active inventory of 15 percent to 3,249 units, and Goochland County decreased a significant 41 percent to 392 units. Richmond City had a year-over-year total inventory decrease of four percent to 1,765 units.

 As anticipated, the absence of the tax incentives, offered to home buyers through the end of April, did result in a drop-off in contracts in May versus last year. Declines in pending contracts throughout the Richmond region ranged from 4 percent to 41 percent, year-over-year. “As eligible buyers rushed to the table before the end of April to take advantage of the tax incentives, some business that traditionally would have taken place in May or June happened earlier,” says Jeffrey S. Detwiler, president and chief operating officer of The Long & Foster® Companies. “Still, affordability will drive the market in the next several months and we’re likely to see current contracts align with conditions in the marketplace.”

 Hanover County experienced a significant 25 percent increase in total units sold in May compared to last year, logging 132 units in the month. Most of the region saw increases as total units sold went up 6 percent in Chesterfield County, 23 percent in Henrico County, and 11 percent in Richmond City. Goochland County experienced a 35 percent decrease in sales but sellers in this region continue to receive 96 percent of their asking price, about the same as year-ago levels.  

 In May, many areas in Richmond saw a significant tightening of the available inventory compared to recent months and year-ago levels. Chesterfield County registered in May 8.1 months of supply and Henrico County had 6.2 months of supply, a decrease of 20 percent and 27 percent, respectively, compared to May 2009. Hanover County had 8.2 months of supply in May, a 29 percent decrease, and Goochland County had 10.6 months of supply, a 9 percent decrease compared to last year. Richmond City has 7.8 months of supply, a 13 percent reduction year-over-year.

The average number of days a house remained on the market before going under contract varied throughout the Richmond region, but generally the data indicates stabilization or improvement in days on market (DOM). In Chesterfield County, DOM fell 13 percent compared to May last year to 70 days, and Richmond City’s DOM was 64 days, down 3 percent year-over-year. Henrico and Hanover counties experienced increases in DOM of 4 percent and 5 percent, respectively, to 78 days and 79 days. Goochland County’s DOM in May was 128 days, significantly higher than year-ago levels.

“National headlines tell a different story regarding the residential housing market than what we’re seeing in some areas of the greater Richmond region,” says Detwiler. “Historically-low mortgage rates are opening doors for buyers and many sellers are seeing their homes go under contract in a few months. One of the ways consumers can learn more is with The Long & Foster Market Minute. These reports help consumers keep up with quickly-changing local market conditions, and Long & Foster sales associates can help those who are interested take advantage of current market opportunities.”

In May, Richmond counties experienced depreciation in median sale price, with most counties down 4 percent to 5 percent. Sellers in the region, however, continue to receive a significant percentage of their asking price, ranging from 96 percent to 98 percent throughout the region.

The Long & Foster Market Minute™ is an overview of market statistics presented at the county level. The easy-to-read and easy-to-share reports include information about each county’s units sold, active inventory, median sale prices, months of supply, new listings, new contracts, list to sold price ratio, and days on market. In addition to the 100 counties in seven states it currently covers, The Long & Foster Market Minute will include more counties in future releases.

The Long & Foster Market Minute™ reports, available at no charge at www.LongandFoster.com, is one tool of many that the firm provides its sales associates so that they can help homebuyers and sellers make informed decisions.                                           

 

About Long & Foster® Real Estate, Inc.

Long & Foster® Real Estate, Inc. is the largest independently-held residential real estate company in the United States.  The company is part of The Long & Foster® Companies, which also includes Prosperity Mortgage® Company; Walker Jackson® Mortgage Corporation; Long & Foster Insurance Agency, Inc.; and Long & Foster Settlement Services.  Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. represents more than 12,000 agents in seven Mid-Atlantic states, plus the District of Columbia. The company sold more than $25.3 billion worth of homes and helped people buy and sell homes 78,281times in 2009.  The Long & Foster Companies 2009 combined sales for the year were in excess of $51.5 billion. Visit us at longandfoster.com.

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