Local home sales bouncing back

Published 7:28 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2015

More “For Sale” signs are being removed from front lawns as housing sales across the state continue to increase — mimicking residential trends in the Heart of Virginia.

According to a new report, Virginia’s residential real estate market is bouncing back after the 2008 recession with the Virginia Association of Realtors (VAR) reporting the strongest second-quarter sales in seven years.

The large increase has also been realized across Buckingham, Cumberland, Prince Edward and throughout Southside Virginia.

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“We have steadily improved at a very small pace since 2008,” said Navona Hart, president of the South Central Association of Realtors and a longtime Realtor at Real Living Cornerstone in Farmville. “This year, we are definitely up from last year as an association in residential sales.”

Hart said that the association had 313 residential sales in the first six months of this year compared to the 238 sold in the same period last year.

“The numbers are definitely there,” she said, attributing the growth to strong investors and demand for rental properties.

The association’s region encompasses 14 counties, including Buckingham, Cumberland, Prince Edward, Charlotte and Lunenburg.

In the past several months, Shawn Bolden, the principal broker of United Country Tri-County Real Estate based in Dillwyn, said he’s seen a strong comeback in home sales.

“It’s jumped, to me. The second quarter [of this year] has been pretty huge. Until now, things have been moving along, but this second quarter as far as residential numbers, it’s been moving.”

According to the VAR, the quarter’s sales volume reached nearly $10.6 billion in April through June. “This sales volume represents an 11 percent increase relative to the second quarter of 2014 ($9.5 billion),” noted the release.

Bolden said, according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), there were 144 residential properties sold or under contract between April and  late July in Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward, calling the numbers “very strong,” citing high consumer confidence.

In 2014, Statewide Reality saw an approximate 28 percent increase in the number of sales over 2013, according to the firm’s broker, Larry Atkins. This year, he said, is “still going strong, pretty much consistent with last year.”

“We have seen a good increase in the housing market,” he added, noting that interest rates have been low and demand has increased. Before last year’s big sales jump, Atkins said sales had been decreasing.

Dempsey Jones with Remax said the home market is definitely getting better. “It seems like every year we’re picking up a little bit more, but from 2008 to probably last year, things … were pretty slow and then things started to pick back up probably in the last couple years.”

According to the report, annualized residential sales, a rolling sum of the home sales closed in the preceding 12 months, indicate steady improvement in Virginia’s housing market with three consecutive quarters of increase.

This is an updated version of the original story, clarifying the number of residential properties sold or under contract in Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward between April and late July.