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Residential Listings in Hampton Roads Continue to Rise

Spring is here and the housing market is continuing to show growth.

Residential active listings rose 3.35% when compared to February 2014. This is the 19th consecutive month that active listings have risen year-over-year, with increases that have ranged from less than 1% to as high as 12%. Of the region’s seven major cities (Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach) all but Newport News experienced a year-over- year increase in the number of homes for sale. Chesapeake and Hampton saw the largest spikes at 14.67% and 13.90%, while Newport News declined by 2.24%.

Hampton Roads’ residential pending sales for the month of February rose substantially year-over- year, up 17.97% as compared to the prior year. All seven of the region’s major cities fostered year-over- year increases, with Hampton and Virginia Beach experiencing the largest gains of 36.08% and 30.07% respectively. February marks the 9th consecutive month that residential pending sales have risen year- over-year. A significant and steady increase in pending sales should result in higher settled sales over the next few months, assuming all transactions conclude satisfactorily.

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.

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

Happy Holidays from Southerland Real Estate!

We at Southerland Real Estate wish you a wonderful holiday season!

Below is a recent testimonial from one of our current clients. We appreciate all feedback and it is our pleasure to serve you into 2015!

Dec 21, 2014


I am trying to catch up all the loose ends. The past several weeks weI have lived in a whirl wind. We wanted to just take a moment and say thanks for your support in the sale of our home in Eagle Point. As you know with all the new construction in our neighborhood the competition is steep in home sales. Many houses stay on the market for over a year. We know that price is a major component of any sale but without exposure one could be giving a home away and have not takers. You and your professional service were excellent in providing the exposure and support we needed to get our home sold. We think it took about six weeks to get it sold. We are confident your expert composing of our listing in the MLS was a key factor in the sale of our home. The picture you took and the way you put them together made our house stand out above many others in the neighborhood listed in the MLS. The folks that bought our house saw the listing on They contacted an agent that had sold them the home they were living in an asked her to set it up. They came in our house and were there for less than twenty minutes. We heard them say yep that is just like the picture, and yep just like the picture and again just like the picture. They did not call the agent and tell her to find them a house they had already done the research and contacted the agent to set up the appointment. The listing as published on with the way you put it together portrayed the house as it really is and generated the interest for someone to come and see. We just wanted you to know that we are so appreciative for your help and support. It was the time of day you recommended and the way you put the listing together that created such a quality listing. The sale went off without a hitch and we are now in a temporary home trying to complete all of our business loose ends before moving to Florida. From both of us we say thanks for all your help and support. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a great New Year.


Gil and Libby