Home sales up in Suffolk

Published 10:24 pm Friday, July 28, 2017

The real estate market in Virginia has enjoyed a positive trend in recent months, and Suffolk home buyers and sellers are benefiting from market improvements.

The Virginia Realtors Association released a home sales report on Monday that detailed year-over-year gains in the number of sales, transaction values, median price and average length of time on the market for homes in the second quarter.

Pending sales in May were 12.5 percent greater than in May of last year, with 2,906 homes that went under contract in Virginia, according to a Real Estate Information Network press release.

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The most significant gains among the Hampton Roads cities were in Suffolk, with 36.55 percent more pending contracts in May compared to May of last year, and 18.12 percent more settled residential sales.

“There’s certainly more transactions going on this year than there was last year,” said Lee Cross, associate broker at Cross Realty. “What I’ve been telling clients is that we’re in a glass-half-full-and-rising market.”

Realtors have attributed these improvements in Suffolk to residential and commercial development in the northern section of the city, such as Bennett’s Creek and Harbour View.

“There’s more new homes going up now than there were over the last couple of years,” Cross said.
“As the market comes back, more developers are putting up new neighborhoods and giving people more places to live.”

North Suffolk has attracted families with new schools like Nansemond Suffolk Academy’s new campus and expanding retail amenities. More retail centers are expected to finish construction this fall and offer new shopping and dining options on Harbour View Boulevard.

“Something that has always impressed me about Suffolk is that they really stay on top of that,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices real estate agent Kathy Worthen. “They make sure that they have the schools and resources to handle that growth.”

According to Cross, “ridiculously low” mortgage rates have allowed buyers to widen their home searches, which has helped reduce the average time a home remains on the market. The median time for a Suffolk home on the market has dropped from 52 days in June 2016 to 43 days this past June, according to REIN data.

“The days on market has shortened, which means the demand has been picking up,” said Chorey Associates Realty owner and broker Billy Chorey Sr.

Chorey said sellers have benefited from appreciating residential values and an influx of buyers that were previously concerned with market conditions.

“Some people have been waiting to see when things get better, and the people that have been waiting in the past are now starting to creep into the market,” he said.

Leading these improvements are North Suffolk developments that are attracting future residents, which in turn inspires even more development.

“It’s brisk up there, with all of the activity,” Chorey said. “Right now, I would say demand is more than the supply, thus driving the prices up, and with that comes the need for more infrastructure. It’s like a little miniature city up there within a city.”