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!
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This map from Rockingham County of the Urban Development Area is frequently updated, and provides helpful updates on the status of each project currently under development (or nearing development) in this growth area just southeast of the City of Harrisonburg.
Current updates include....
The forthcoming hotel and conference center being built on the edge of the JMU campus, held its ceremonial groundbreaking yesterday. The project is due to be complete by March 2018.
Read more in today's Daily News Record article, or read on for some highlights....
Harrisonburg Rockingham Child Day Care Center has been a vital part of this community since 1971 and provides high quality childcare to children ages 2 – 5. The child care center offers an income based sliding fee scale which allows them to be affordable to all families regardless of their income.
My colleague, Pete Laver, is participating in the 7th Annual "Dancing with the Stars of the 'Burg" competition where local celebrity stars are matched with an amateur dance partner from the Shenandoah Valley chapter of USA Dance. The contestants practice and fundraise for 14 weeks, leading up to the competition on November 6, 2016 at the JMU Grand Ballroom, Festival Conference and Student Center.
Last year over $105,000 was raised to support the Harrisonburg Rockingham Child Daycare Center. The majority of the funds raised are reserved in a building fund to fulfill the Daycare's dream of having their own home.
Will you join me in supporting the Harrisonburg Rockingham Child Daycare Center?
Your donation is 100% tax deductible! Visit www.WHSV.com/dance and scroll down to vote for Team Laver!
Right now, your donation will be matched by Funkhouser Real Estate Group up to a total of $5,000!
Mortgage interest rates edged up, barely, this week to an average of 3.52%. That pushes us above the 3.5% mark, after several months mostly below that mark.
Let's look at a slightly longer (5 year) perspective....
As shown above, we are currently seeing some of the best interest rates in the past three years. The only time we have seen similar rates was in Fall 2012 through Spring 2013.
Let me know if you need a recommendation for a mortgage lender for a purchase or refinance.
Looking for information about recent property transfers in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County? Be sure to check out HarrisonburgPropertyTransfers.com.
Let's take a look at how home sales have been trending in Broadway in recent years....
As shown above, 2016 may be the best year in recent memory for home sales in Broadway, Virginia. The estimate of 101 home sales is based on YTD (Jan 1 - Oct 17) home sales.
Median Sales Prices are also on the rise in Broadway, as shown above. Based on YTD home sales, the median sales price is $183K -- significantly higher than in any recent year.
You can find homes currently for sale in Broadway here.
Let me know if you have any questions about the Broadway real estate market!
Learn more about this month's Featured Property: 953 Greenbriar 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 September....
A few highlights from the basic data breakdown outlined above....
Now, let's contextualize those strong September sales....
As stated above, there were a LOT of home sales in September 2016 -- a whopping 123 of them. When was the most recent time when we saw this many homes sales (or more) during the month of September? Waaaaaaay back in September 2005 when there were 136 home sales seems to be the only time we have ever seen more than 123 home sales. Wow!
The median sales price of single family homes are often an excellent indicator of the price trends in a local real estate market, as they show a purer form of owner occupant supply and demand. When we examine townhouses as well, we are observing the buyer behavior of both owner occupants and investors -- and there can be much more short-term volatility in demand from investors. So, with the assumption that we'll get the clearest picture of price trends by looking at single family homes, it is striking to see a steady increase in median sales prices of these properties as shown in the graph above.
This graph clearly illustrates what a busy buying season it has been over the past seven months. We have seen an average of 130 contracts per month over the past seven months -- as compared to an average of only 96 contracts per month during the same timeframe in 2015. These strong contract numbers, clearly, are leading to the busy season of closings -- and we are likely to see yet another strong month of sales in October based on these contracts.
Finally -- buyers are finding fewer and fewer choices in the market -- as inventory levels (as shown above) have declined 16% over the past year. Looking back further (not shown above) there has been a 23% over the past two years!
Well, there is much more to know, learn, read....but I'll pause here for now, and I'll let you explore that and read further on your own if you so choose. You can read my entire market report online....
Let's take a look at how home sales have been trending in Dayton in recent years....
As is evident above, the real estate market has been steadily improving over the past few years as far as the number of homes that are selling each year. Of note -- the 40 home sales shown for 2016 is based on the 32 home sales that have taken place thus far in 2016.
Median sales prices have also been steadily increasing over the past few years -- though with such a small sample size, this is not likely an indication of solely an increase in home values -- but also a change in the types of homes that were sold in each of those years. Suffice it to say that I don't believe we've seen a 59% increase in home values in Dayton, VA between 2013 and 2016.
You can find homes currently for sale in Dayton here.
Let me know if you have any questions about the Dayton real estate market!
Let's take a look at how home sales have been trending in Bridgewater in recent years....
As shown above, 2016 is poised to be the strongest year in quite a while for home sales in Bridgewater, VA. Of note, the 76 sales shown for 2016 is an estimate based on the 64 home sales that have happened thus far in 2016.
There is not quite as clear of a picture of trends in home values in Bridgewater, VA -- though this is likely because we are working with a small data set. The mix of which homes sell in any given year can make this metric bounce up and down a bit.
You can find homes currently for sale in Bridgewater here.
Let me know if you have any questions about the Bridgewater real estate market!
Sellers are usually quite shocked, dismayed or disheartened to receive a low offer on their house, for example, an offer of $365K on a $415K listing. But it is important to remember that even that low offer really is a compliment!
If you have not yet had an offer on your house (that is listed at $415K) and you receive an offer of $365K, that doesn't necessarily mean your house is only worth $365K, nor does it necessarily mean that you should accept $365K or something close to it. It does, however, mean something quite exciting --- somebody wants to buy your house!!!
Of course, negotiations won't always work out with low offers -- but recognize a low offer for what it is -- a buyer who wants to buy your house, and perhaps the first buyer who has declared as much through a written offer!
If there is any way to put a deal together with those buyers, you ought to pursue it, as it's hard to know when the next buyer will work up the courage to tell you that they want to buy your house!
I believe this question is best answered by evaluating when buyers make an actual buying decision -- which is when they sign a contract. The data above shows when buyers sign contracts -- calculated by averaging data from the three most recent years.
As can be seen, the busiest buying season is March through August when an average of 123 buyers per month make a buying decision.
The remaining six months of the year (September through February) show anywhere between 50% and 77% as many buyers as the average of 123 per month seen in the busiest six months of the year.
So -- listing your home on November 1st (for example) is not a terrible idea -- we'll see 64% as many buyers signing contracts in November as compared to the average busy month. That said, in the following month (December) we're likely to only see half as many buyers as compared to the average month
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