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REAL ESTATE REVIEW AND FORECAST ISSUED BY ODU CENTER

Average home prices in Hampton Roads rose 22 percent from the previous year, according to Old Dominion University's E.V. Williams Center for Real Estate and Economic Development's Real Estate Market Review and Forecast, presented Thursday at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

The average price for a home in the region's 12 cities climbed to $314,000 in 2004 and the steep climb was attributed to the continuing lack of availability in housing stock, as well as a jump in land and construction costs, experts said.

Five area real estate experts spoke Thursday to the 650 real estate professionals who attended the review. Nancy Bagranoff, dean of ODU's College of Business and Public Administration, also announced the naming of the center for Williams, whose estate in January donated $5.4 million gift to be used primarily in the college.

More than 26,000 home sales were recorded in the region from January through November 2004, experts said. Those sales had a value of $5.4 billion, up 33 percent from the same period in 2003. New home construction holds 19 percent of the market, and 81 percent of sales come from the sale of existing homes.

On the Peninsula, home starts were up from 1,814 to 2,303 for a gain of 27 percent, but closings are nearly level with last year with 1,398 compared to 1,407. Price increases for homes hit all areas of the Peninsula, but Newport News reported the largest increase of 45.5 percent - from $173,274 to $252,130.

The retail real estate market remained strong in 2004. The Peninsula reported $4.5 billion in retail sales last year with South Hampton Roads leading the reins with $10 billion in sales. Big-box vacancies represent 61 percent of the vacant retail space in Hampton Roads, and it represents 69 percent of the vacant space on the Peninsula.

The Hampton Roads office market continued its gradual improvement during 2004 as the vacancy rate dropped 2.9 percent to 10.1 percent. New office construction remained sparse with the addition of only 250,000 square feet. The absorption of more than 800,000 square feet was a result of existing companies expanding in the region. The Peninsula led the region with almost 60 percent of the newly leased space, highlighted by Northrop Grumman leasing 101,000 square feet in Hampton's NetCenter, the largest office lease in the region for 2004.

This article was posted on: February 11, 2005

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