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!
click here for a larger version of this image
Have you driven on Stone Spring Road lately near the Wellness Center? I had not done so in the last week or two, and thus had not yet become totally befuddled by the new road configuration in that area.
As shown above, Peach Grove Avenue (which goes by Stone Spring Elementary) now connects all the way through to the new Connector Road.
AND....if you were driving along Stone Spring Road, coming from Port Republic Road, you'll hit a dead end, and have to turn onto the new section of Peach Grove Avenue.....to then get on the Connector Road.....to get over towards the Wellness Center.
AND....the people living on the section of Stone Spring Road between Peach Grove Avenue and the new Connector Road likely have a slightly trickier time getting to and from their houses right now given the construction in that area.
Anyhow -- check out a larger version of the image above by clicking here, or drive through the area yourself to experience these road improvements. I'll be glad when the full Connector Road is finished!
Oh, and here is the image without my labels.
Last year, Luke and I started our 4th of July off at the Valley 4th Run. If you don't have plans for the morning of July 4th, join us this year!
Here is a re-cap of other events happening on the 4th of July in Harrisonburg....
COURT SQUARE ACTIVITIES:
8:30am | Valley Fourth RUN
The only chipped timing race in the Shenandoah Valley that lets you pick your charity and your distance. Don't forget to choose Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance when you sign up. Learn more about the RUN.12:00pm | Reading of the Declaration of Independence
Sons of the American Revolution Fort Harrison Chapter present the Reading of the Declaration of Independence for the ninteenth consecutive year on the east side of the Court House.4:00pm - 9:30pm | Children's Activities and more
Activities include Face Painting by Larkin Arts; a Patriotic Pooch Booth by the Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA; Touch a Truck by the Harrisonburg Fire Department; Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest by the Friendly City Food Co-Op; Inflatables provided by First Presbyterian Church and more.4:00pm - 9:30pm | Marketplace of Vendors
Vendors will include an art market hosted by Larkin Arts for attendees to browse what our local artists have to offer; food vendors including local food trucks and delicious fare, and craft vendors.
COURT SQUARE THEATRE PERFORMANCES:
11:00am, 1:00pm & 4:00pm | "The Little Red Hen" Puppet Show
Back again this year by popular demand is the hilarious Barefoot Puppet Theatre Show. Shadow puppets, hand puppets, rod puppets, and even a humanette will delight families and children ages 3 & up. Shows will be available in Court Square Theatre at 11:00am, 1:00pm, & 4:00pm. Tickets are $5.00 each. For more information please visit Court Square Theatre.
TURNER PAVILION ACTIVITIES:
12:00pm - 8:30pm | Grillin' at the Pavilion BBQ Cook-off
Teams will vie for cash prizes, bragging rights and title of Valley Fourth's Champion BBQ'er.4:00pm - 7:00pm | People's Choice Sampling
The first 1,400 people who purchase sampling tickets from 3-5pm at the Turner Pavilion Info Tent will have an opportunity to sample the People's Choice team entries and vote for their favorite.4:00pm - 9:30pm | Beers N' Cheers
Live music, craft beer, Virginia wine, and food!4:30pm - 6:00pm | The Judy Chops
Live musical performance7:00pm - 8:30pm | Rebecca Frazier and Hit & Run
Live musical performance8:30pm | Awards Ceremony
Winners of the Children's Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest, BBQ cook-off and parade will be announced.9:30pm | Fireworks Finale
Fireworks will light up the sky over downtown. The best view will be from the Turner Pavilion so plan to get there early and bring a lawn chair!
ALONG MAIN STREET:
1:30pm and 2:00pm | Rocktown Bites! Tours
Eat and drink your way through an incredible array of independent downtown restaurants! These specialty July 4th tours last approximately 2.5 hours as your tour guide takes you to unique restaurants, food shops, and local businesses to sample food, drink (including craft beer and Virginia wines), and get behind-the-scenes dish from restaurateurs and chefs. Tours include tasting tickets to the Grillin' at Pavilion BBQ Cook-Off. Two tours are being offered at 1:30 and 2:00pm. For ticket information please contact Katie Yount.6:00pm | The Celebrate Downtown Parade
The parade will travel South on Main Street from the Rockingham County Administration Building to the City Municipal Building. To apply click here. (deadline extended through Wednesday June 25th!)5:00pm - 8:00pm | First Friday's
Stroll the streets of downtown Harrisonburg the first Friday and enjoy extended hours at many shops and businesses (5-8pm or later) while viewing art and enjoying performances by local artists, musicians, and more. For more information visits Arts Council of the Valley.
Are low mortgage interest rates from 2012-2013 keeping today's inventory levels down? Sound confusing? Read the excerpt above, or the entire article on the Matrix Blog....
New Angle: Blame Low Mortgage Rates
Here in Harrisonburg, I don't talk to many homeowners who are hesitant to sell because of the low interest rate they obtained in 2012-13. In fact, I don't see many homeowners who bought in 2012-13 even considering selling at all. If you bought a home in 2012-13, likely you were and are planning to be in it for quite a few more years.
And today's higher mortgage interest rates? They aren't really that high!
June home sales have seemed strong thus far in 2014, but as it turns out, we're right on par with last June -- OK, technically, slightly ahead of last June.
Review last month's market report for a broader picture of the health of our local housing market.
Looking for bank owned homes in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County? You can find all active listings at HarrisonburgREO.com.
If you're interested in receiving email updates of new listings of bank owned homes, just drop me a line at scott@HarrisonburgHousingToday.com and I will set that up for you.
Also, you can find out about upcoming foreclosure sales at HarrisonburgForeclosures.com.
If Hotel Madison is built in the location shown above, it is likely to be without any financial support from the City of Harrisonburg.
A private developer, JMU and the City of Harrisonburg have been negotiating for months on details of a potential partnership between the three entities to build a hotel and conference center on the site shown above -- but that deal has now apparently fallen apart.
The developer was asking for $10 million towards the conference center construction, which would be a part of the overall $40 million cost of the entire project.
Per today's Daily News Record article, after nearly every detail was in place, the City made a few changes to the draft memorandum of understanding, and the JMU Foundation could not agree to those changes.
The developer indicates that the project will not be able to move forward without the now unlikely private-public partnership.
Read more in today's Daily News Record article, or catch up on how this all played out....
It would seem that JMU will be buying this 60 acre parcel on South Main Street that was originally intended to be privately developed as student housing.
Per the Daily News Record (June 7, 2014)....
James Madison spokesman Bill Wyatt said that while the university has no immediate plans for the property, the board is buying it to add flexibility to shuffle the school's auxiliary, nonacademic services away from the center of campus, and create space for future facilities.Read the full DNR article here.
Read about the 466 apartments that were originally going to be built on this land here.
It wasn't normal to have 1,600+ home sales per year --- but we did, at the peak of the housing boom.
It wasn't normal to have < 800 home sales per year --- but we did, at the valley of the housing bust.
Now, the question is --- what is a normal or typical amount of homes to be sold in any given year in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County? 900? 1000? 1100? 1200?
Last year, our market raced up to an annual sales pace of over 1,000 home sales per year. It seemed that we would continue to see this annual pace of home sales accelerate --- perhaps to 1100/year or 1200/year. Thus far in 2014, however, we have not seen than 1000+ trend continue.
Perhaps we're looking around 950 home sales this year, and then back up to 1000+ territory in 2015?
OK -- this is as clearly as I can put it....
It could have been the new trajectory --- and perhaps 2014 home sales will catch back up later this year, after having been slowed down by wintry weather early in 2014.
Or perhaps, 2013 was an abnormality --- and the pace of home sales in 2014 will not catch up to the fast pace of 2013.
Only time will tell....
Featured Property: 2944 Crystal Spring Lane, Harrisonburg, VA
I just published my monthly report on the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market and things are starting to look slightly rosier, but it's still not as wonderful of a year of sales as we saw in 2013.
Click here to read the entire report online -- or click here to download the full PDF -- or read on for some highlights....
The good news, as shown above, is that there were 99 home sales in May --- which is ever so slightly more (+2) than last May. Even with this slight improvement in the month of May, 12.6% fewer homes have sold thus far in 2014 as compared to 2013. After a strong market recovery last year, many (most?) people assumed we would see further market recovery this year --- both in the pace and price of sales.
One theory is that the abnormally cold and snowy winter created a slower start to the year. We'll have to wait to see if that theory holds water as we move through the rest of the year. If that were to be true, I believe we would have seen more of an improvement in May, but I'm willing to patiently (?) wait to see what June home sales will show.
Another theory is that a backlog of buyers (many more than normal) bought in 2013, and that the pace of home sales in 2014 is returning to the trend we were otherwise seeing in 2011 - 2012.
Also in the "pretty exciting, but don't order the party bagel from Mr. J's yet" category -- the 99 home sales we saw in May was actually the strongest month of May sales in recent history. That's good news, even if it does beat the old record of 97 by only two home sales.
There is good and bad news when examining the pace at which contracts are being signed this year....
And if those words didn't jump off the page at you and give you hope and enthusiasm for the weekend ahead, then take look through the full report that offers lots of colorful graphs that are bound to inform and entertain. You can read it online here or download the PDF here.
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.
Sentara may soon open a primary care facility in Bridgewater, and they have an option to purchase an 8 acre parcel of land owned by the Town of Bridgewater located on Dinkel Avenue as shown above.
Town Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday on the potential sale at its regular meeting, which will be held at 7:30 p. m. at 201 Green St.
Read all the details in the Daily News Record article.
The north end of Harrisonburg may soon (eventually) have a new grocery store, located at the intersection of North Main Street and Mt Clinton Pike.
Read the full Daily News Record article for further details.
Townhouses are selling fast in Section II at The Townes at Bluestone -- with only one townhouse remaining for sale in the first building of townhouses (Lots 94-97) with garages.
Next to hit the market will be a building of seven townhouses with walkout basements (Lots 125-131) that will start at $184,900.
If you have been secretly planning to buy one of these townhouses, let me know, so I can alert the builder of your interest.
Fixed mortgage interest rates (30 year) continue their downward trend towards 4%. The average rate right now is an astonishingly low 4.12%.
If you're buying now, or soon, today would seem to be a GREAT day to lock in your interest rate!
May 2014 nearly set a new record for the number of contracts signed in a single month in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. As shown above, there were 136 contracts --- just shy of last year's 143 contracts in May 2013. Hopefully, this will help the somewhat slow start to the 2014 housing market.
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