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!
Let's take a look at how home sales have been trending at Massanutten Resort in recent years....
As shown above, home sales have been increasing at Massanutten Resort over the past five years, with the exception of a small decline in 2015. Of note -- there have already (as of 9/28/2016) been 52 home sales in 2016 -- so we are likely to see more home sales this year in Massanutten Resort than in any of the previous five years. The 64 home sales shown above for 2016 are an estimate based on year-to-date home sales (52) and the timing of sales in 2015.
Value trends over time at Massanutten Resort don't paint quite as clear of a picture, but it can certainly be said that home values have been, generally speaking, increasing over the past 5 - 6 years. Values dipped down a bit more than expected in 2014, jumped up a bit more than expected in 2015, and are where we might have otherwise expected them to be in 2016 if we hadn't had that odd low and odd high. This is a relatively small data set (40 - 60 home sales) which can cause some irregularities in value trends.
You can find homes currently for sale in Massanutten Resort here.
Let me know if you have any questions about the Massanutten Resort real estate market!
view a larger image
view a larger image
Apparently our area has an unmet need of high end rental properties, as The Reserve at Stoneport will be expanding their community off of Port Republic Road near Sentara RMH Medical Center.
Current Community: 168 apartments
Planned Expansion: 240 apartments
Per the developer, the current inventory of apartments are 98 to 99 percent full, and the first apartments in the new phase will be available in late 2017.
Rental rates will range from $985 - $1735 per month, and there were be even more one-bedroom units in the new phase....
Mortgage interest rates were historically low a year ago, though they around 3.86%. Now, they are REALLY low, with the current average of 3.48%. But at the end of the day, they have been at or below (or just barely above) 4% for the past 12 months -- which means that it has been a fantastic year to lock in one's monthly housing costs.
But, will the interest rate be rising in December or January? There is some talk that the Fed will increase the "Fed Funds Rate" in December, which could lead to an increase in mortgage interest rates.
Oh, and just to put things in a slightly larger context, here is an illustration of average mortgage rates over the past three years....
The fundraising campaign for building a park in Downtown Harrisonburg kicked off last evening with an event at Pale Fire Brewing Co. with the exciting announcement that $500,000 has already been raised for the project!
The park is estimated to cost $5.5 million to be built, and will be built on 4.2 acres of city-owned land including the municipal parking lot on South Liberty Street, the Harrisonburg Farmer's Market Turner Pavilion and the grassy lawn area next to the parking lot.
Construction on the park is expected to start in 2017.
View the layout of the park and learn about opportunities to support this effort by visiting BuildOurPark.org.
Read today's Daily News Record article here.
My house is next to the railroad tracks, but all of the potential buyers (who did not make an offer on my house) didn't complain about price, they complained about the railroad tracks.
My house has an unbelievably steep driveway, but all of the potential buyers (who did not make an offer on my house) didn't complain about price, they complained about the steep driveway.
My house is needs many cosmetic updates, but all of the potential buyers (who did not make an offer on my house) didn't complain about price, they complained about the need for cosmetic updates.
Guess what --- unless you're going to move the railroad tracks (or the house), flatten the driveway, or make all of the cosmetic updates -- it really is an issue of price!
If you're getting consistent feedback about your house that is unrelated to price, in almost all cases, you need to adjust the price to accommodate for that specific issue.
If the price is lower then buyers might actually buy despite the specific issue that they were complaining about.
We saw an amazing 29 home sales over $500K last year -- which was the highest seen anytime since 2008. This year we are on track to likely match that pace of high end sales, with 21 home sales over $500K in the first 9.5 months of the year.
Again, last year showed an amazing number (19) of home sales over $600K - the highest since all the way back in 2007 -- but it does not seem that we will see that many home sales in 2016. With 10 home sales on the books thus far, we have exceed 2011-2014 levels, but it seems unlikely we'll get all the way up to 19 home sales this year.
Finally, looking at the super-high-end home sales (over $700K) we are seeing a significant drop off from last year. Last year we saw a remarkable 11 home sales over $700K, which seems to be the highest number on record, ever. This year, however, we have only seen 3 home sales over $700K thus far.
As shown above, many homes currently listed for sale have already been on the market for some time, picked over by all of the current buyers in the market. That said, it's possible that one of these homes is the PERFECT house for you, and that seller has been patiently waiting nine months for YOU, the perfect buyer for the house.
As we start your home search, we'll first look through the homes currently for sale (realizing that they won't ALL be great and exciting options) and then we'll start to monitor new listings as they come on the market.
If you are a fanatic about finding out about new listings -- especially since there aren't many houses on the market right now -- then you shoud know about NewListingsInHarrisonburg.com....
On this new-ish website, you can quickly and easily scroll through the most recent residential listings in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, view the pertinent details, all of the photographs of the home, an area map, and then quickly and easily share that new listing with a friend, your spouse, your Realtor, etc.
You can also sign up to receive an email alert every time there is a new listing....
And, finally, you can add the website to the home screen if you'd like, for quick and easy access....
If you have any questions about this new website, or suggestions for improving it, just let me know.
Until then, go check it out, at NewListingsInHarrisonburg.com.
Buyers are finding fewer and fewer options of homes to purchase in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County as inventory levels continue to decline. The graph above shows the number of homes for sale in early September for each of the past eight years.
There are 44% fewer homes for sale now as compared to at the peak of inventory levels in 2010. Even looking over the past year, there has been a 12% decline in inventory.
These low inventory levels are frustrating buyers in many price ranges, giving them limited options of homes to purchase and SOMETIMES creating multiple offer situations.
If you are getting ready to sell your home, it is important to understand the dynamic of how many other home sellers you will be competing against, so we will want to take a look at inventory levels in your particular segment of the market.
The graph above shows four periods of changes in the local median sales price....
Between the start of last decade (2000) and the peak of the housing boom (2007) the median sales price increased from $116K to $195K. Then, the median sales price dropped all the way back down to 169,900 in 2011.
Now, in 2016, we are almost all the way back up to the 2006 peak of a median sales price of $195,100 -- with our current median sales price of $195,000. Thus, if you bought in 2007, your home almost (-2.6%) be now worth what it was when you purchased it.
Learn more about this month's Featured Property: 3465 Izaak Walton Drive
I just published my monthly report on the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market. Jump to the full online market report, download the PDF, or read on for highlights....
First, let's take a look at the overall market performance in August....
A few highlights from the basic data breakdown outlined above....
As promised, a bit more context. The 154 home sales in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County during August 2016 marked the HIGHEST number of home sales seen anytime in the previous 10 years. We'd have to stretch back 121 months to August 2006 to find the next highest month of home sales, when we saw 156 home sales.
But wait, there's more. If you thought August home sales was the end of a series of strong months, you might be wrong. Take a look at the contract data (above) and you'll note that there were a whopping 130 contracts signed in August -- a 20% increase over last August. As such, we should expect to see strong September/October sales as well. Also of note, over the past six months we have seen an average of 135 contracts signed per months, as compared to only 116 per month a year prior.
And the inventory levels keep on dropping. Buyers have fewer and fewer choices these days with current inventory levels hovering around 560 homes for sale in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. This results in the best listings (price, condition, marketing) being sold quickly.
There is much more to know, learn, read....
I'll pause here for now, but I'll let you explore that and read further on your own if you so choose. You can read my entire market report online....
Only 39.3% of sellers have paid for a part the buyer's closing costs on home sales that have closed thus far in 2016. This marks a decline from the 47.7% of sellers who paid buyer closing costs last year. However....
As shown above, the amount of closing costs that sellers are paying is certainly increasing. The average amount of closing costs paid by a seller (when a credit was provided at all) has increased from $4,150 (in 2015) to an average of $4,328 in 2016. Also of note....
As shown above, of the sellers who are paying buyer closing costs, it is most common for them to pay between $4K and $6K towards the buyer's closing costs.
So....if, as a seller, you are asked to pay the buyer's closing costs -- you are not alone (40-ish percent of sellers do) and you will likely be asked to pay $4K - $6K.
click here for a larger version of this aerial image
Just a stone's throw away from this new student housing being built on Reservoir Street, you will find another large patch of bare earth in preparation for a new residential development.
This new community is being built on the site of the former Albert Long baseball field off of Reservoir Street (across from Fieldale Place) in Rockingham County. This complex will be called Robinson Park, and will include 88 garden-style apartments.
According to the developer, this will include:
A clubhouse / community building will also be constructed.
Per this Daily News Record article....
Read more from the Daily News Record....
Affordable Housing In Focus In City, County
N.C. Company Eyes Housing On Reservoir
click here for a larger version of this aerial image
If you have driven along Reservoir Street lately, you would have noticed the massive area on the hospital side or Reservoir Street where trees have been cleared for a new housing development. This site will soon be home to 700 college students in a new development called "The Retreat at Harrisonburg", being developed by Landmark Properties out of Athens, GA.
The developer has acquired 36.81 acres for $5.71 million in August after the land was rezoned in May to allow for this community to be developed. This same developer is (per their website) also currently developing The Retreat at Blacksburg, a student housing community for 829 students.
Read more about this purchase and development in this Daily News Record article....
Student Housing Developer Buys County Land
August 30, 2016
Here is the intended site plan....
Per documents submitted to the County, we know the following about this potential student housing community....
It has been hard to see the overall trajectory of showings this Spring/Summer as compared to last Spring/Summer since we have had both better and worse months of showings.
Let's summarize a bit....
Mar/Apr/May 2016 as compared to Mar/Apr/May 2015 = 10% increase
Jun/Jul/Aug 2016 as compared to Jun/Jul/Aug 2015 = 11% increase
So, while each individual month might be better or worse than the next, it seems that showings are, overall, increasing this year as compared to last year.
An early look at August 2016 data shows that it was another STRONG month of buyer activity, with 127 signed contracts.
This marks an 18% increase over last August -- and an increase from July 2016 as well.
Licensed in the
Commonwealth of Virginia
Receive notifications of new content on this blog, via e-mail or RSS reader.
Mobile Real Estate Apps
Housing Market Report
Walk Through This Home
The Glen at Cross Keys
The Townes at Bluestone
Cottages @ Stone Spring
Harrisonburg New Homes
Best Deals In Harrisonburg
Bank Owned Properties
Potential Short Sales
Recent Price Changes
Secret MRIS Listings
Secret GAAR Listing
Broadway VA Homes