It’s time for my Virginia Beach Real Estate Market Update for December 2017! December was a busy month for me, and this first half of January has been bonkers too. Here it is, by the numbers:
There was a decline in total units sold in December, with 491 sold this month in Virginia Beach compared to 522 in November, a decrease of 6%. This is not unusual for this time of year.
However, this month’s total units sold was lower than at this time in December 2016, seeing a decrease of 8%.
Bottom Line: December almost always is a slow time of year for real estate, but this December was a steeper decline than normal. Which leads us to…
Compared to early 2017, the total number of homes available now is lower by 793 units or 31%(!). The total number of active inventory this December was 1,753 compared to 2,546 homes for sale in December 2016.
This month’s total of 1,753 is lower than the previous month’s total supply of available inventory of 2,142, a decline of 18%.
This is great news for people who want to sell. It means that increased demand from buyers, coupled with fewer properties available to purchase, may lead to a better negotiating position for sellers.
Median Sales Price
Last December, the median sale price for Virginia Beach City Homes was $255,000. (Keep in mind that this figure includes all attached homes like townhomes and condos, and all detached homes too.) This December, the median sale price was $245,000, a decrease of 4% or $10,000 compared to last year. The current median sold price is 4% lower than in November.
Median sale price is the middle sale price in a given month. The same number of properties are above & below the median.
The median sale price for this month is a bit of a puzzler – but I think the 4% cut is explained by my section on New Listings & Current Contracts, so keep reading.
Months of Supply
Months of supply is calculated by dividing current inventory by current sales. It tells us how many months would be needed to sell all of the available homes at the current rate of demand.
In December, there was 3.6 months of supply available in Virginia Beach City, compared to 4.8 in December 2016. That is a decrease of 26% versus a year ago. This reinforces the data above that shows that with fewer properties available to purchase, sellers may be moving into an advantageous real estate market in the Spring of 2018.
New Listings & Current Contracts
This month there were 479 homes newly listed for sale in Virginia Beach City compared to 492 in December 2016, a decrease of 3%.
There were 534 current contracts pending sale this December compared to 418 a year ago. The number of current contracts is 28% higher than last December.
Now lets return to my comments in the Median Sale Price section: the median price seemed a bit low to me. With a whopping 534 pending contracts compared to the previous year, I would hazard a guess that prices were driven down by owners who desperately needed to sell quickly. Desperate sellers make for lower prices.
Sellers that can afford to wait are in a position of negotiating strength, and that big 28% increase in pending contracts implies that a lot of sellers didn’t want to worry about moving over the holiday season – so they punted their closings into the new year. This idea is reinforced by the next section:
Sale Price to List Price Ratio
In December, the average sale price in Virginia Beach City was 97.2% of the average list price, which is 0.6% lower than at this time last year. This echoes what happened to the median sales price – sellers settled for less.
Days on Market
This month, the average number of days on market was 60, lower than the average last year, which was 65, a decrease of 8%. Coupled with the data above, this implies that sellers were accepting subpar deals in record time – one more nail in the coffin that desperate sellers were driving their prices down.