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Author Archive for Steve Southerland – Page 2

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.

The Many Benefits of Home Buying

Through home ownership, the money you pay for shelter every month will be an investment in your future, not someone else’s. Each mortgage check you write will build equity – the difference between what your home is worth now and what you paid for it. When you sell, you collect the equity as your profit. This profit can help put you into your next, larger home. Or you can tap the equity for college tuition loans or retirement funds at a rate which is generally lower than those available on personal loans. Also, paying on and ultimately paying off a mortgage is an excellent way to establish a good credit rating and prove financial stability.

Your home purchase is not only an investment in your future, it’s a powerful tax benefit as well. You can deduct both the interest in home mortgage payments as well as property taxes.

Personal Freedom
Home ownership frees you from the whims and dictates of a landlord. There will be no unexpected rent hikes. You will be able to decorate as you like, have a dog or cat, and make improvements on your property. You gain privacy and the freedom of expression.

Pride of Ownership
Perhaps the most intangible, yet powerful advantage is the pride of ownership. A home gives you and your family a feeling of stability and commitment. A special sense of security and satisfaction comes as you begin to put roots down in a neighborhood. Your family will enjoy the benefits of this decision for many years.


Courtesy of REIN

2014 ends with Continued Growth in Hampton Roads Real Estate Market

Courtesy of REIN

The Hampton Roads real estate market ended on an encouraging note for 2014 with a burst of activity at the end of the year. Compared to the only moderate improvements throughout the year, December’s statistics posted relatively positive results year-over-year. Residential active listings, pending sales and settled sales all underwent significant increases when comparing December 2014 and 2013. The month’s strong marks also contributed to 4th quarter year-over-year advancements.

Residential active listings rose 6.24% when compared to December 2013. Of the region’s seven major cities (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach) all experienced a year-over-year increase in the number of homes for sale. Chesapeake and Hampton saw the largest spikes at 15.79% and 12.92%, while Portsmouth exhibited the lowest increase at just .56%.

The region’s months’ supply of inventory for residential homes for sale is currently 5.92 months, up 8.62% from December 2013 when it was 5.45 months. Virginia Beach currently maintains only 4.59 months’ supply of inventory, the lowest of the seven major cities, while Hampton sports the highest at 7.28 months. Six months is considered a “balanced” market.

Hampton Roads’ residential pending sales for the month of December rose a substantial 23.03% as compared to the prior year. All seven of the region’s major cities improved by 15-37% year-over-year. Hampton and Newport News escalated the most at 37.23% and 35.14%. A significant increase in pending sales such as this should result in higher settled sales over the next few months, assuming all transactions conclude satisfactorily. Year-to-date, 2014 pending sales reflect an increase over last year, of 1.42% regionally.

December’s residential settled sales rose a considerable 12.70% when compared to December 2013. Of the region’s seven major cities all but Portsmouth experienced a year-over-year increase in the number of homes sold. Virginia Beach and Chesapeake experienced the largest surges at 21.65% and 18.92% respectively, while Portsmouth’s residential sales declined 8.18%. The region’s median sales price for December 2014 is $205,000, up 3.8% from the previous year when it was $197,500.

While not quite as dramatic an increase as for the month of December, residential settled sales were up 2.52% overall for fourth quarter 2014 (October through December), compared to the same period of time in 2013. Four of the region’s major cities improved year-over-year for Q4 (Norfolk 9.65%,Newport News 8.38%, Virginia Beach 6.03%, and Chesapeake 4.32%), with the remaining three cities experiencing a decrease in the number of pending sales (Portsmouth down 10.59%, Suffolk 8.5%, and Hampton 5.09%). The median sales price for Q4 rose 2.55% year-over-year, from $199,900 to $205,000, which coincidently is the same median sales price for the month of December. Closing the year, 2014 year-to-date settled sales experienced a slight drop as compared to 2013 with a decline of 2.22%.

Distressed homes, those that are either short sales or foreclosures, continue to have significantly less impact on the region’s market. During December 2014, distressed homes accounted for just 20.04% of all residential active listings, down 2.45% from the same period of time last year. December’s distressed homes accounted for only 21.53% of all residential settled sales, a decrease of 7.52% from December 2013. Compared to the 30-40% market share when distressed homes peaked in 2011 and 2012, this segment of properties persists in showing improvement.

December 2014 Summary

All Categories

December 2014

December 2013

Percent Change

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Total Residential Active Listings




Total Property Pending Sales




Total Residential Pending Sales




Total Property Sales




Total Residential Sales




Total Residential New Construction Sales




Median Residential Sales Price




Months’ Supply of Inventory




What Real Estate Trends to Expect in 2015

As housing recovers, prices in many markets across the U.S. have shot up. In fact, RealtyTrac reported that the median sale price of U.S. single-family homes and condos in October had reached its highest level since September 2008. Price appreciation and the lure of foreclosures created a feeding frenzy for real estate investors willing to pay cash and made it harder for traditional buyers to compete.

But experts say that 2015 will be marked by a return to normalcy and balance for real estate markets across the country. Stan Humphries, chief economist for, predicts that home value growth will slow to around 3 percent per year instead of the 6 percent seen recently, and that will make real estate less attractive to many investors. “It’s been a tough market for buyers,” he says. “I think it’s going to get easier in 2015. Negotiating power will move back to buyers and away from sellers. It will be a much more balanced market.” (Too many buyers and too little inventory, or the opposite, contribute to an unbalanced market.)’s chief economist Nela Richardson agrees. “It’s been a clear pattern that the investor activity has been shrinking over time,” she says. “Investors like to go in where they can buy low and sell high. Price growth is starting to slow dramatically, so they can’t sell much higher than what they buy. Investment property is less compelling in 2014 going into 2015.”

For years, many people have postponed homeownership in favor of renting, but that may also change next year as a growing number of this generation starts families and seek more stability.

Baby boomers are also likely to make a move in 2015. With fewer homes underwater, they’re finally in a position to sell.

While mortgage rates may not remain at the historic lows seen recently, more people may qualify for home loans as issues like foreclosures or short sales age out of their credit reports and Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae ease mortgage eligibility. Freddy and Fannie recently announced a new mortgage program for buyers with a down payment as low as 3 percent.

Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act Passed

National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron has issued the following statement on key legislation passed by Congress:

“The package of tax extensions approved by the U.S. House and Senate, and headed to the President’s desk for signature, includes important provisions that will help distressed homeowners and commercial property investors with transactions made during 2014. NAR applauds Congressional leaders in both chambers for their effort to pass this legislation before adjournment.

“Realtors® strongly supported the bipartisan Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act, which was included in the package to prevent underwater borrowers from paying taxes on any mortgage debt forgiven or cancelled by a lender in a workout or after their home was sold for less money than was owed. We are grateful to Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., for championing the provision.

“The legislation also includes one-year extensions of the 15-year depreciation schedule for leasehold improvements and the deduction for improvements to energy efficient commercial buildings.”