After a couple of challenging months for many local markets across Virginia, the housing market is poised for a strong rebound this summer, with many buyers and sellers who had pressed “paused” this spring returning to the market. Even as market activity declined in most places across the state as a result of COVID-19 and the economic downturn, some localities experienced strong sales in the first five months of 2020.
In general, smaller markets posted the strongest sales gains in the first five months of 2020. The Greensville County and Southampton County housing markets in southeastern Virginia had relatively strong spring markets. Over the January through May period, sales were up by 67% in Greensville County and up by 39% in Southampton County compared to the same period last year.
In the City of Danville, sales were also up 29% in the first five months of 2020.
Sales activity was relatively strong in some markets in central Virginia, including Amelia County (up 29%), Amherst County (up 27%), Charles City County (up 25%), and Appomattox County (up 24%). In the Tidewater area, the City of Williamsburg saw the number of sales in the first five months of 2020, up 43% compared to a year ago. In Lancaster County, at the tip of the Northern Neck peninsula, home sales were up 32% in 2020 compared to 2019.
There are many signs that the economy and the housing market are improving in Virginia. Unemployment claims have leveled off, and the state’s economy added jobs in May. The strong housing demand that was present in the market before the COVID-19 outbreak is still a factor. Both first-time and move-up buyers who delayed their home purchase this spring will be returning to the market over the summer. Historically low mortgage rates will continue to provide an enticement to home buyers over the coming months. June home sales data, which will be available later this month, will provide more evidence of the state of the housing market in Virginia–stay tuned!