Loudoun County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Market Update – 2018

Loudoun County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Market Update – 2018

The Loudoun County, VA 1st quarter real estate market had a great first quarter. The market continues to expand, home prices continue to climb and distressed properties continue to decline. It’s going to be a sunny Spring.

Loudoun County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate – Average Sales Price

There was a 6% average sales price improvement over the first quarter of 2017. The Loudoun County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Market Update - 2018average home sale price was $516,700. In 2017, that number was $486,382. Most of the past five years have shown some level of improvement, but the 2017-2018 increase is the highest. The 2014-2015 average sales price increased 2.2%, but 2015-2016 dropped slightly at .02%. That quickly rebounded with a 1.4% increase from 2016-2017.

Loudoun County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate – Number of home sales

The number of home sales in the first quarter has followed a similar pattern over the past five first quarters. In 2018, 1250 homes were sold. That was a minor decline (-4.8%) from 2017, which has 1313. The 2017 first quarter improved over 2016 by 4%, and 2016 first quarter improved 6% over the first quarter of 2015. The biggest jump in the past five first quarters was 2014-2015. That jump was 10%.

The challenge for 2018, and the most reasonable explanation for the small decline is the lack of existing homes on the market. The lower inventory that has plagued the country for the past nine months most certainly affected the volume of home sales. Now that Spring is upon us, the market is likely to show increased numbers over the same period last year.

Loudoun County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate – Distressed properties are no longer distressing

Loudoun County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Market Update - 2018The number of distressed properties also continues to decline. The first quarter only 2.9% of all sales in the distressed category. There were 17 short sales and 19 foreclosures. That is the lowest number in five first quarters. The 2017 market had 6.1% distressed properties and 2014-2016 averaged 7.5% over the three first quarters.

The nationwide foreclosure rate dropped to a 12 year low in 2017. The drop was 27% from 2016 to 2017. The largest change can be seen in the 2010 to 2017 market which was a drop of 76%. Currently, the national foreclosure rate is at the lowest it has been since 2005. The national first quarter foreclosure rate is below the pre-recession rates, and it has been for six consecutive quarters.

The Loudoun County, VA 1st quarter real estate market’s 2.9% is a good sign for home sellers. The lack of foreclosures and short sales on the local market will give greater stability to local housing prices, and that can be seen in the continually improving average sales price.

Loudoun County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate – Active listings and pending home sales

The current pending home sales in the Loudoun County, VA real estate market are now at 980. That number nearly eclipses the total sales for the first quarter of 2018. The average list price of the pending sales is $545,766. If that number holds or stays close through closing, the second quarter may see a rise in average home sale prices.

With lower than needed inventory, buyers are scrambling to buy homes soon after they hit the market. The current number of available existing homes in 1134. In a market as big as the Loudoun County, VA market, that is not many. There is some light at the end of the low inventory tunnel. The January 2018 inventory increased year to year by 13.35%.

If the trends of higher home sales, high average sales prices, lower distressed properties and improved inventory continues, the Spring is going to be very sunny for Loudoun County, VA real estate. When you’re ready to list your Loudoun County, VA home, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros.

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Winchester-Frederick County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Update – 2018

Winchester-Frederick County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Update – 2018

The Winchester-Frederick County, VA 1st quarter real estate market had a good first quarter. The first three months of the year tend to be a slower home sale period, but the local market increased sales by 13% over the 2017 first quarter. That’s a great jump year to year. The change is more of a sign of stability than the previous five first quarters.

Winchester-Frederick County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Update – Five year change.

A slow steady change is more indicative of a healthier market. Large swings may show volatility in the market. At the 10 year anniversary of the Great Recession, home sales are in a similar place as they were at that time. That’s no reason to panic in the current market. The major changes since the pre-recession relate to loan qualification and regulation. The subprime and low-document loans are no longer prominent today.

Buyers are being qualified based on verifiable data, and the changes in loan regulations Winchester-Frederick County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Update - 2018have lenders crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s before a loan is approved. Fewer real estate agents are willing to jump into a car to show property to buyers who have not been pre-qualified for a loan. Those changes alone have added to market stability.

The Winchester-Frederick County, VA 1st quarter real estate market has seen real changes since the dog-days of the recession. The improvement in the volume of home sales is up 53% since 2013. The years between 2011-2015 had periods where the market was brutal. Though there were periods with positive signs, the market did not offer confidence that the worst was behind. Even as late as 2013, the market was still tenuous. Home sales dropped 7% in the first quarters year to year between 2013-2014.

The 2014-2015 market increase in the first quarter was a 17% improvement. The next two years 2015-2016 saw 0% growth in the first quarter. Finally, the 2016-2017 market saw a 24% increase and 2017-2018 increased 13%. Nationwide, the increases have been 3-6%. That puts the Winchester-Frederick County real estate market in a better place than many other communities throughout the country.

Winchester-Frederick County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Update – Inventory Issues Continue

Low inventory has plagued much of the country throughout the past nine months. Winchester-Frederick County is no different. The current number of existing homes available is 267. That’s an improvement from February and March, but is woefully low considering the buyer pool.

Sellers do have an advantage in the current market, but the current conditions are giving buyers heartburn. It is common for properties to hit the market followed by multiple offers with lower numbers of contingencies. Buyers are avoiding home inspections, paying more than list and shortening their closing times to gain an advantage.

That works well for sellers, but buyers may be buying homes that have issues that will be expensive to repair once they take possession. By paying more than list, buyers are having to bring more money to the table than they expected. The market inventory problems do create a certain amount of uncertainty for buyers.

Winchester-Frederick County, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Update – Distressed properties

Another area that is stabilizing is distressed properties. Distressed properties are made up of short sales and foreclosures. The numbers have hovered around 6% year to year, and the first quarter was in the range at 7.4%. There were 23 foreclosures in the first quarter and 3 short sales. They were 7.1% in the 2017 first quarter. That’s consistent since the market has taken a turn toward stability.

The market has been a roller coaster since 2008, but there has been a consistent fight to get back to stability since 2011 and beyond. For those watching closely, it has looked like a street brawl, but the causal observer probably hasn’t noticed the extreme swings. Having looked at every month, quarter and year since the recession, I can see a steady return to a healthy market. It is a welcome sight.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market, give me a call at Cornerstone Business Group, Inc. I am your local real estate sales pro.