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Archive for February 2015

Real Estate Market Proving Strong in 2015

Courtesy of the Virginia Pilot

The Hampton Roads real estate market started 2015 on a positive note.

The number of existing homes sold and the median price grew year-over-year in January, as did the number of active listings across the region, according to a report released recently by the Real Estate Information Network, the Virginia Beach-based multiple listing service for Hampton Roads.

Pending sales rose significantly, according to the service, which suggests that “consumer confidence is up and buyers are jumping into the market.”

Residential active listings rose 7.6 percent over January 2014 to 10,994 last month. All seven of the region’s biggest cities experienced a year-over-year increase in the number of homes for sale, according to the report.

In South Hampton Roads, the number of existing homes sold increased to 707 in January – a 4.9 percent bump over the 674 sold the same month in 2013.

The median price grew 3.9 percent in South Hampton Roads to $185,000 in January from $178,000 the year prior.

Distressed sales decreased year-over-year in January, but they accounted for more than a quarter of all sales in the region.

January’s distressed homes accounted for 27.7 percent of all residential settled sales, a 1.8 percent drop from the prior year. But it was also the highest percentage since February 2014 when it was 30.7 percent, according to the report.

Home sales picked up steam toward the end of 2014, but for the year, the market lost the forward momentum that had been building slowly since 2012.

Why Today’s Market is Good for Both Buyers and Sellers

After a slight increase at the end of last month, mortgage rates have once again fallen for all home loan types. According to the Mortgage Reports, loan rates are at their lowest levels in nearly two years and very close to all-time low rates set in May 2013. For homeowners who have been looking to refinance to save money each month or get rid of their MIP payments, now is the time to act.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is now at 3.59 percent, nearly a full percent lower than rates were a year ago. FHA, USDA and VA loan rates are even lower and 15-year mortgage rates can be found well under 3 percent for prime borrowers.

The housing market right now is good for both buyers and sellers, as home values continue to rise, while mortgage rates are staying low. The demand for homes has been strong in the U.S., with a third of homes selling in less than 30 days. The Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors shows that supply of homes is at 4.4 months, which is defined as a seller’s market.

Fortunately buyers can get home loans at low rates without having to put a ton of money down. Mortgage loans have down payments as low as 5 percent for fixed rate loans and 3.5 percent for FHA loans. For those who qualify for a VA loans, no down payment loans are available as well.

For current homeowners looking to lower their monthly payments, refinancing at today’s low rates is a smart idea. For those who have some equity in their homes, refinancing from an FHA to a conventional loan can save you money on your monthly payments, and get rid of MIP. If you owe more than your home is worth, you may qualify for a HARP refinance, which Freddie Mac shows can save homeowners over 30 percent annually.

Virginia Beach Real Estate Trends Continue to Show Market Growth

Courtesy of Trulia

Average Listing Price

  • $414,562
  • for week ending Jan 28
  • +$29,804
  • +7.7%

Average Price per sq feet: $147.00

Median Sales Price

  • $234,900
  • Oct ’14 – Jan ’15

Summary for Virginia Beach

Average price per square foot for Virginia Beach VA was $147, an increase of 5% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Virginia Beach VA for Oct 14 to Jan 15 was $234,900 based on 553 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price increased 0%, or $100, and the number of home sales decreased 45.1%. There are currently 2,678 resale and new homes in Virginia Beach, including 12 open houses, as well as 667 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale in Virginia Beach VA was $414,562 for the week ending Jan 28, which represents an increase of 7.7%, or $29,804, compared to the prior week. Popular neighborhoods in Virginia Beach include Northwest and North Central, with average listing prices of $338,478 and $423,379.