October 2019 sales were not quite as strong as October sales in 2018. With low inventory levels, we are still in a sellers market. Is this a blimp in a year of strong sales? Or, are we starting to slow down for the winter?
At this point, we do not have enough data to indicate a slow down the market. If you are thinking of buying or selling in the near future, reach out to me so we can discuss strategies to achieve your goals in today's market.
In our last post we discussed how to figure out how much home you can afford. The next question to answer is, what will your money buy you? That all depends on the market that you’re in. The same amount of money may buy you a mansion in a rural area and a small apartment in an urban center.
Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market
In addition to the location you’re looking in, the state of the market at the time you’re buying will also help to determine how far your money will go. Whether you’re in a buyer’s market, a seller’s market, or a neutral market will affect how far each dollar stretches. In a buyer’s market, there’s more inventory on the market than there are people looking to buy homes, pushing prices down. Your money will go further and you’ll have more options to choose from. In a seller’s market, there’s less inventory on the market than there are people who want to buy homes and the homes on the market can demand a higher price, squeezing your budget. In a seller’s market you may have to make a few different offers on homes before you can find the right fit. A buyer’s market is an easier deal.
The Local Harrisonburg and Rockingham Market
Take a look here to find detailed analysis of the local market, and enter your email below to subscribe to monthly market reports.
No matter the market conditions, there are always opportunities. Sometimes opportunities require the house to be renovated. There are loans to help with those costs. This can require a significant down payment but not always.
There are also areas where your dollar can stretch a little further. It just depends on what you are looking for. Some of these areas include Broadway/Timberville, Grottoes, Weyers Cave (Augusta), Massanutten, and Elkton.
As shown, July was a strong month for home sales. There were a total of 149 home sales this July, up a significant 13.74% from last July. This July had the most sales of the past 6 years, by far. Interestingly enough, the number of homes listed for sale was 270 this year, which is 21.74% less than last year's 345. This shows that the market today still remains very much a sellers market. And homes are going fast! The median days on the market dropped from 22 days last July to 17 days this year, a decrease of 22.73%. The median sales price of homes has stayed fairly consistent since last year, dropping just a bit over 1%. We've seen 784 home sales so far this year, just 1 sale less than last year at this time.
Compared to most other months this year, June was an extremely active month for home sales. However, this is expected as the summer is the busiest season for real estate sales. Sales in June this year (136) were slower than the last 3 years. Additionally, the number of homes on the market is the lowest it has been in June the last 6 years (267). This resulted in the mid year number of homes sold (625) to be 4.43% lower than last year. Although home sales have been slightly slower, the median sales price of homes continues to climb. The median sales price this June was 240,000, 9,500 more than the previous year. Median days on the market continues to drop for the month of June, albeit just by one day from last year (22 to 21). The market very much remains a sellers market.
The Market Report for Virginia Realtors showed an increase in home sales for the month of May compared to last year. This is the first increase in 8 consecutive months. Prior to this month, sales activity has been flat or declining compared to last year. The increase in May was largely the result of several specific areas experiencing significant growth throughout the state. The area with the most growth throughout all of Virginia compared to last year was right here in the Valley! There were 708 sales in the Valley in May, which is 104 more than last year, equating to an increase of 17%. Hampton Roads and Central Virginia were the other two regions that experienced significant growth.
The median sales price of homes increased approximately 5% throughout the state, rising to 309,900. This is an estimated increase of 15,000. As in the valley, the state’s median price has risen largely due to the low number of active listings. Low inventory levels continues to drive the price of homes upwards and the number of days on the market down. The average days of homes on the market statewide is 47 days, 3 days less than a year ago. Fewer homes were listed at the end of May than a year ago. Roughly 55,090 homes were listed statewide, about 5,800 less than last year, representing a reduction of 10 percent.
Info obtained from: May 2019 Virginia Realtors Home Sales Report.