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.
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Sometimes it's helpful to look back a bit further than the last 12-24 months. The data above illustrates how the pace of home sales has changed in four segments of our local market. Each data point shows the average number of sales per month in the previous 12 months.
We find that.....
It is likely important to note that in this same 5-year timef rame, the median sales price declined 11% --- from $197,650 to $175,000. It is possible that this shift in home values contributed to the shifts shown above in the pace of sales in different price ranges.
As home sales have improved over the past several years, sellers have negotiated less on their sales price.
Two numbers for you to memorize....69 and 11.
A few other observations....
At least for now, 30 year fixed mortgage interest rates seem content to hover around 4.5%. After having stayed below 4% for a year and a half (Nov 23, 2011 - June 20, 2013) mortgage interest rates jumped up rather quickly this past June. Since that time, however, rates have stayed between 4.3% and 4.6% without too much variation from week to week.
A few snippets buyers should be aware of....
At least for now, mortgage interest rates seem to be stabilizing around 4.4%. These rates are an entire point higher than the all-time lows seen in late 2012 and in May 2013......however, they are still lower than than any mortgage interest rates seen anytime other than in the past two-ish years.
Thus far this year, 60% of all home sales have been under $200K......and 90% of all home sales have been under $325K in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
As you may have read about in the news, home values (nationally) are increasing....
As shown in the chart at the top, we have only seen a 0.2% annual increase in prices in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
Review a full battery of local housing market trends here.
HarrisonburgTownhouses.com has been updated with sales data from 2013-Q2, and many townhouse communities are (finally) starting to see median prices increase again.
So, are you wondering about property values in your townhouse community? Or considering purchasing an investment property? Whatever the reason for your interest in townhouses in Harrisonburg, you will likely find the information you need at HarrisonburgTownhouses.com, including (for each townhouse community):
The townhouse communities featured on HarrisonburgTownhouses.com include:
It seems quite possible --- see above.
But remember folks, these are still ridiculously low interest rates from a historical perspective.
Last year was the worst year in the last 10 years to try to sell a home for more than $600K in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. This year is shaping up quite nicely. It may not be a blockbuster (10+ or 12+) year, but it won't be nearly as bad as last year.
Looking for that perfect $600K+ home? Don't miss this one: photos | web site
Interest rates are increasing. It's not the end of the world, but buying soon will likely be more affordable than buying later.....
The payments shown above only reflect principal and interest, not taxes and insurance.
Interest rates have increased from 3.35% to 3.98% over the past six weeks. A 30 year fixed mortgage interest rate below 4% is still fantastic (even below 5% is great) but if you're buying soon, you should consider finalizing those details ASAP to try to get a 3.something% interest rate if you can.
I have been tracking contract activity over over six years and I have never seen contract levels this high in a single month. Over the past six years, we never saw any more than 121 contracts signed in a single month. Last month, there were an astonishing 143 contracts signed!
If the first 28 days of May are any indication, our local housing market will be setting new records this month. There have already been 125 contracts signed on residential real estate listings in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County this month. That is nearly double the pace of contract signing seen in previous months of May.
As stated yesterday, even though sales are up, prices are not yet increasing.
So what can we expect of home prices over the next five years?
I believe we will start to see an increase in prices this year (perhaps 1%) and then we may see a more ambitious (2% - 3%) increase for the next few years after that.
Bear in mind that depending on the timeframe you examine (see the bottom of this post) the median home value increases around 5% per year.
The matrix above shows that a $250K home would (potentially) increase to a value of $289K over the next five years if we see an average of 3% appreciation per year over the next five years.
Click here to download the table above as an Excel file to plug in your own variables.
National median home values increased 5.94% per year between 1960 and 2000.
National median home values increased 6.72% per year between 1970 and 2000.
National median home values increased 4.76% per year between 1980 and 2000.
As several of you pointed out, last week's sales and inventory graph was missing the trendline for price. So, here (above) is the updated graph. As you can see, over the past two years we have seen prices stabilize as sales increased and inventory decreased. All good signs for further stability and growth in our local housing market!
The Harrisonburg / Rockingham unemployment rate dropped below 5% for the first time in 50 months in March. This is a good sign for our local economy, and also speaks to trends being seen across the state and country as well.
Downtown Harrisonburg has seen some major growth over the past eight years and there are exciting projects on the horizon. Perhaps that's why Downtown Harrisonburg was recently featured in the national publication pictured above, Main Street Now. In fact, the magazine actually features a lengthy case study highlighting the successes in downtown Harrisonburg, with quotes from Eddie Bumbaugh, Barry Kelley, Andrew Forward and John Sallah....
Click here to download the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Main Street Now to read the full story about how Downtown Harrisonburg has been transformed in recent years.
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