Virginia Home Sales On Strong Decline

September 9, 2007

New and existing home sales declined by double digits in July compared to the previous year, according to industry figures.

Nearly all 24 regions of the state reported declines, the Virginia Association of Realtors reported.

In addition, pending sales were down 16.7 percent in July from one year ago, according to the association. Pending sales track the number of sales under contract and are a sign of future activity. Actual sales typically take a couple of months to close.

"Certainly, there is evidence that sales are decreasing from last year, but not enough to warrant hysteria," said Martha Durnett, president of the Richmond Association of Realtors and an agent with Keller-Williams Realty.

"People are still buying and people are still selling, although our inventory is increasing," Durnett said.

Northern Virginia, the most expensive area in the state, reported sales down slightly less than 5 percent. The median sales price was $480,000 in July, up from $476,450 a year earlier.

In Prince William County, sales were down nearly 35 percent, among the steepest declines in the state.

Thirteen regions reported double-digit percentage decreases, including the Charlottesville area with a 13.6 percent decline in sales in July from the same month a year ago.

"It's not all bad for the buyer," Durnett said. "They have a lot to choose from."

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