Welcome! This blog tracks the real estate market in the Central Shenandoah Valley, featuring market data and analysis, an exploration of common buying and selling questions, and candid commentary on all things real estate.
If you are interested in discussing any of the topics on this blog, or the details of your specific real estate situation, call or e-mail me!
Average mortgage interest rates (for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage) are hovering around 4.1% -- the lowest we have seen this year.
And looking back even further, we can be even more grateful for this low cost of mortgage money.
Showing activity remains strong in through August and September -- a promising leading indicator for market activity we may see later on this Fall.
* September 2014 data is extrapolated from 9/1/2014 - 9/16/2014 data.
Per the Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance facebook page, the enormous hole in the ground at the corner of East Market Street and Mason Street (beside Urban Exchange, Rocktown Bicycles and an abandoned gas station) will soon be a much more exciting destination, including....
Click on the image above, or visit RecentlyReducedInHarrisonburg.com to explore the homes that have most recently been reduced in price.
Let me know if you have any questions about these properties, or if you would like help setting up Property Alerts to receive notifications of price reductions specific to your search criteria.
The biggest shift in homes available for sale has been in the lowest price range in our market, under $200K homes. There are now 30% fewer homes for sale in this price range as compared to three years ago. This shift in the lowest price range is the most significant shift as compared to the other three price ranges shown above. The only price range in which we are seeing increased inventory levels is in the $400K + price range.
As shown above, despite a decline in the number of home sales in this area, and a tiny decline in median sales price, we may actually be seeing an increase in home values as explored through changes in price per square foot.
Read the entire Daily News Record article about our local housing market for further commentary and perspective.
Hot July Housing Market Cooled In August
Daily News Record, September 9, 2014
click here for a larger version of this graph
As shown above, the number of homes for sale fluctuates greatly through the year --- but the degree of fluctuations differs between single family homes and attached dwellings (duplexes, townhouses, condos).
Single Family Homes
36% increase in homes for sales between Dec 2013 and Jun 2014.
Duplexes / Townhouses / Condos
13% increase in homes for sales between Dec 2013 and Jun 2014.
Thus, we are likely to see inventory declines over the next few months --- but the majority of those declines will be in single family homes.
Featured Property: 3273 Barrington Drive, Harrisonburg, VA
I just published my monthly report on the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market. Jump to the full online market report, or download the PDF, or read on for highlights....
If you can sort through all of the lines and arrows above, you'll note that August 2014 home sales (101) fell short as compared to August 2013 (112). After three great months in a row (May, Jun, Jul) it seemed that August was going to push us over the top and catch us up in 2014 to last year's pace of home sales. Not so. Maybe in September??
There is, in fact, some cause for optimism. As shown above, there was a 19% increase in contracts between August 2013 and August 2014 --- and the annual pace of contract signing (1,169) is ever so slightly above where it was a year ago.
Amidst slightly slower home sales, and slightly higher contract numbers, inventory levels (as shown above) are holding steady. We will likely start to see these inventory levels starting to decline as we continue through the Fall.
Despite sales declining (5% YTD) sales prices are staying relatively steady, as shown above. This graph is measuring a "rolling 12 month" value for both the number of and median price of home sales in our area.
Care to read about all of the exciting details of this month's market report? You can read it online or download the PDF.
Also, as always, if you're interested in talking to me about buying a home in Harrisonburg or Rockingham County.....or if you are interested in selling your current home.....just drop me a line by email (scott@HarrisonburgHousingToday.com) or call me at 540-578-0102.
Don't miss this amazing show, taking place on September 18 - 20.
PLUS...you have the opportunity to Bring the World into Your Home!
Host a member of the cast to connect with other countries and cultures, share your community and local traditions, and receive two complimentary tickets to the show. As a host family, you are simply asked to provide a bed, breakfast and dinner and limited local transportation.
If you are interested in hosting a cast member (Sept 15 - 22) please contact Jennifer Carson at 712-541-9880 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm finding 118 properties in the MLS that went under contract in August 2014 that are either still under contract, or have closed. Here is what those 118 buyers decided to buy last month....
Here are the articles from the past month that your peers enjoyed (read) most....
1. Starbucks Truck Coming to JMU Campus
2. Bank Owned Properties in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County
3. Two out of five homes that sell do so within three months
4. How long might it take to sell a home priced over $400K?
5. Local Home Sales Surge to 82 Month High in July 2014
Stay tuned for more fun in September 2014, and if you have ideas or hot tips, feel free to email me at scott@HarrisonburgHousingToday.com.
It's the last business day of the month, so let's take a quick peek at how things are shaping up this month.
As noted above, there have been 119 contracts signed thus far in August 2014 -- though that number may still increase further. That marks a 16% improvement over the 103 contracts that were signed last August.
Thus far, it seems that Fall 2014 will continue to be a strong home sales market in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
As you can see above, an increasing percentage of real estate transactions have some sort of "seller concession" -- which is usually a credit from the seller to the buyer to help pay for closing costs. Sometimes it could also be related to repairs that have not been completed.
I suppose that while it is true that an increasing number of sellers are providing closing cost assistance to buyers -- it is also likely true (perhaps even truer) that an increasing number of buyers need closing cost assistance.
How much money is changing hands here? Let's take a look....
A few fast facts for you....
Fixed mortgage interest rates keep declining....now to their lowest level thus far in 2014. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is now 4.1%.
If you are under contract to buy a home, it may be wise to lock in your rate now!
There are 888 active and under contract listings in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
Here's a look at how those break down....
click here for a larger version of this photo
If you haven't driven down Ridgedale Road lately, you might not have seen how construction is booming at the Reserve at Stone Port!
This luxury apartment community is slated to open this Fall, and is described as follows on the Cathcart (developer) and Reserve at Stone Port (community) websites....
"The Reserve at Stone Port is a wonderful escape from the ordinary. Relax in an atmosphere appointed with luxury and comfort, where exceptional finishes and remarkable features outline each unique and spacious 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartment homes. Experience extraordinary style, convenience, resort-style amenities, and an award-winning customer service team."
The site plan (above) references amenities including a clubhouse, swimming pool, fire pit, hot tub, cabana, tot lot, putting green, sport court and dog park!
There appear to be 1 BR, 2 BR and 3 BR options available, the floor plans for which are available online.
I suppose it shouldn't surprise us any longer....
LOTS OF PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE IN DOWNTOWN HARRISONBURG!
The very first residents move into the Harrisonburg Ice House yesterday, and (surprise! or not!) all of the apartments are already leased!
A bit more context from today's issue of the Daily News Record....
"The first tenants moving in to the $10 million mixed-use development's 34 apartments marked the beginning of a new phase in the life of the building along South Liberty and West Bruce streets. JMU already has offices in the building, and developers are hoping to finish most of the remaining commercial and office space by the year's end."View photos from move in day on the Matchbox Downtown blog.
Read today's Daily News Record article about the Ice House.
JMU students, faculty and staff will now be able to get their favorite caffeinated beverage on the run via a Starbucks truck that will be rolling through JMU campus this year.
Starbucks has partnered with three universities as a trial of this new concept: James Madison University, Arizona State University, and Coastal Carolina University.
Per the news release from Starbucks....
The new truck, a pilot mobile service coming to three college campuses this fall, offers a menu of drinks and food nearly identical to what customers would find in their neighborhood Starbucks stores.The Starbucks truck will start operating at JMU on August 25. The photo above is a photo from Starbucks -- but I'm eager to see what the actual truck looks like on JMU campus. If you see it in action, email me a photo of it to scott@HarrisonburgHousingToday.com.
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