It seems like Virginia is following in the footsteps of national trends, revealing an 8% growth year-over-year in 2012 home sales, according to a recent report by the Virginia Association of Realtors.

Home sales in Virginia continued to gradually increase each month when compared to 2011 sales.

"If 2011 was a year of transition for Virginia home sales, 2012 was a year of strength in the residential housing market," noted Scott Rogers, analyst at VAR.

"Many of these buyers committed to a home purchase because of increasing job stability and certainty, others purchased because of the historically low interest rates, and still others sensed that the bottom of the housing market had arrived, or even passed them by."

Click on the image below to see 2011 Virginia sales trends compared to 2012.

Central Virginia saw the strongest growth, with home sales increasing 11% year-over-year.

The median sales price in Virginia showed strong signs of growth as well, increasing 7% year-over-year from $225,000 to $240,000. All regions either remain unchanged or increased their median sales price. 

"As supply and demand goes, it is no surprise that higher buyer demand helped sellers obtain higher median prices during 2012, though it is important to note that some regions (i.e. Northern Virginia) experienced much more of an increase in median sales prices (+8%) than some of the smaller, southern regions of the Commonwealth," added Rogers.

Industry professionals in Virginia are excited about where housing is going. "The Virginia housing market is in recovery. Officially, the recovery began in 2011; in 2012, it actually felt like a recovery," said Laura Lafayette, CEO of the Richmond Association of Realtors.

"A steady, sustainable uptick in housing activity is what we experienced in 2012 and it is what we can expect in 2013, as long as we are able to beat back the threats to this nascent, fragile recovery," Lafayette added.