Clarke County, VA Real Estate Market Review – 2017

Clarke County, VA Real Estate Market Review – 2017

The Clarke County, VA real estate market is very much an island. The 2017 real estate market review makes this even more obvious when you look at the Clarke County market compared to the immediate neighbors in Frederick, Warren, and Loudoun County, VA and Jefferson County, WV. Each of those markets showed a good progression forward, where Clarke County bounced around like it has for the past five years.

Clarke County, VA Real Estate Market: The positive numbers are window dressing, but that’s OK.

The two most positive numbers are made up of numbers that can both show market health, and in one case, can add little to no insight into the local market. The number of days on the market is the lowest in five years. The 2017 number of days on the market was 91. The next closest was 110 in 2015. The problem with using days on the market as a positive or negative indicator is that there are too many factors that influence that number.

A home may be overpriced. It may be in a less desirable neighborhood or area. A home may be in poor condition, or it may be hard to show. Any of these factors, or any combination of these factors, may keep a home on the market for longer than necessary.

There is one positive number that is good news, but it’s not a huge difference from the past five years. That is the number of distressed properties. There were 14 distressed properties in the Clarke County market in 2017. The number is down, but 2015 had less with 12. The highest number over the past five years was 2013 with 30, but the numbers have bounced around. In 2014 there were 24, 2015 had 12, 2016 had 22, and 2017 had 14. The numbers are so erratic, it would be hard to make a case for good or poor health.

Clarke County, VA Real Estate Market: The average sales price

Average sales price is typically a good indicator of market health. Here again, it would Clarke County, VA Real Estate Market Review - 2017be hard to pin a determination of good or poor health on this market because it is all over the map. The 2017 average sales price was 388,966. That was down from 2016 with $391,217. It was even further down from 2015 which was $434,873.

The two years prior to 2015 also showed the same up and down pattern that the following three years showed. In 2014 the average sales price was $329,227 and 2013 was $347,757. Up and down and back again.

A buyer in the Clarke County, VA real estate market needs to understand that Clarke County is a different animal. Berryville, which is the county seat, is a small town with a huge desire to stay a small community. It took years to get a Food Lion grocery store on the edge of town. As of this report, there are still no fast food chains allowed in Berryville. When you leave the county seat and travel south on Rt 340 to Waterloo, you will see a Sheetz convenience store. Across the street is a Shell gas station with a convenience store, and a McDonald’s completes the third corner. That’s it.

Beyond that, you can stop at a number of mom and pop stores and businesses throughout Clarke County, VA.  So, for the real estate market to be on it’s on trajectory is no surprise at all. I seriously doubt that it will ever change. That’s what makes it the quaint and quiet community that people love.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in Clarke County, VA, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros in the area.

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Canter Estates Subdivision in Stephens City, VA – Real Estate Review – 2017

Canter Estates Subdivision in Stephens City, VA – Real Estate Review – 2017

The Canter Estates subdivision in Stephens City, VA had a solid real estate market in 2017. Like many of its neighboring subdivisions, all the right numbers are up, and the unwanted numbers are down. That is consistent with the broader Frederick County, VA real estate market.

Canter Estates Subdivision in Stephens City, VA: Good numbers

The good numbers in the Canter Estate subdivision are price, distressed properties and Canter Estates Subdivision in Stephens City, VA - Real Estate Review - 2017days on the market. The average home sale in 2017 was $330,386. That is a 4% increase in sales price. Where the average sales price really shines is in the growth over the past five years. There is a 12% improvement in average sales price from 2013.

Each year since 2013, the average sales price has inched its way into positive territory. The average sale price in 2013 was $290,836, $301,240 in 2014, $311,423 in 2015 and $316,874 in 2016. Each year since 2012, an incremental change has taken place that has helped the Canter Estates subdivision regain its prominent place as one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Stephens City, VA.

Homeowners who purchased before the 2008 recession are finally seeing their value come back to near pre-recession values. There is still improvements to be made before the subdivision completely returns to those days of sometimes inflated values, but as of January 1, 2018, the average home sale price is still 10% below the 2007 market average. The local real estate market took a 37% hit with the market collapse in 2008.

Canter Estates Subdivision in Stephens City, VA: More good numbers

Distressed properties are a sign of a market in trouble. The 2017 distressed properties in the Canter Estates subdivision was 12.5%. That is higher than the local market average, but it may be more of an anomaly than a trend. It may also be the last heaving of the past market collapse.

The 2016 distressed number was 3%. That is a below average number. Also, in 2015 Canter Estates Subdivision in Stephens City, VA - Real Estate Review - 2017there were no distressed properties. But from 2014 backward gives a view where the market went during the downturn and where it is today. Those numbers were:

  • 2014 – 14.3%
  • 2013 – 20%
  • 2012 – 46%
  • 2011 – 33%
  • 2010 – 56%
  • 2009 – 30%.

In those numbers, you can see the wild ride the neighborhood had during the down days of the recession. The 12.5% number for 2017 is consistent with the whiplash nature of distressed property sales in the Canter Estates subdivision, but the overall market has made monumental improvements in the past five years, and this neighborhood is no different in those improvements.

Days on the market have been consistent over the past five years with only slight deviations along the way. The 2017 average was 35 days. That is two days above 2016, but here again, it is nominal. There is no changing trend to point to while trying to form an opinion of effect.

Overall, the Canter Estates subdivision is a highly desirable neighborhood with beautiful large homes of many styles. It is close to multiple highways which make it a great place for commuters to live. It is also a sprawling neighborhood with large yards, sidewalks for evening strolls and quick access to shopping, schools and parks.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Canter Estates subdivision, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc. a call. We are your local real estate sales pros and we’re here to help you succeed.

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Oakdale Crossing, Raven Wing, Raven Point – 2017 Real Estate Review

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Don’t wait too long to buy a house. It may cost you more than money.

Don’t wait too long to buy a house. It may cost you more than money.

One of the most common questions Realtors deal with is related to “how much house” a buyer can afford. The first place to start when you want to buy a house, is the lender’s office. A lender is a great resource in the home buying process because the lender can determine what buying power a home buyer is capable of. Then, with that information in hand, a buyer knows what price he/she should be shopping in. It would be terribly frustrating to shop for a $400000 house if a buyer’s buying power is $232000.

Don’t wait too long to buy a house: The cost of waiting.

There is second issue buyers should also consider when they start the process to buy a house. That is time and interest. Time and interest rates can work for you, or they can work against you. A buyer may start the process qualified to buy a $232000 house at 4.5%Don't wait too long to buy a house. You may find that you can't afford what you could before., but what happens if he lingers for 6 months and interest rates inch up over that time? Let’s say rates climb to 6%. That $232000 house will now be out of his buying range. Now, he can only afford to buy a $196147 priced home, but his house payment will be the same as the $232000 house.

Don’t wait too long to buy a house: Even small changes will hurt your purchase.

Even if the rate only went up 1% to 5.5%, the buyer’s buying power slips to $207119. No one wants to rush into buying a house, but being too causal in home buying process may cost you. In this scenario, the buyer lost nearly $25000 in buying power. If it went to 6%, he lost $35853 in buying power. It’s very likely that the $36K loss in buying power is not going to produce the house he envisioned when he started the search.

Don’t wait too long to buy a house: Time really is money. Your money.

Time really is money when the market is showing increases in housing prices and interest rates. Every increment up means less buying power. A buyer needs to be focused on finding the right house within his/her price range within a reasonable time. If not, he/she might be settling for less house at the same monthly costs.

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Oakdale Crossing, Raven Wing, Raven Point – 2017 Real Estate Review

Oakdale Crossing, Raven Wing, Raven Point – 2017 Real Estate Review

The Oakdale Crossing, Raven Wing and Raven Pointe neighborhoods had a good 2017 in real estate. All three neighborhoods show year over year improvement in sales numbers, distressed property sales and average sales price. They also show a drop in distressed properties (short sales and foreclosures). The five-year sales have increased over 32% from 2013, but the years between 2013 and 2017 were a roller coaster. In every area, these neighborhoods have been up and down.

Oakdale Crossing, Raven Wing, Raven Point: The ups and downs of the past 5 years.

In 2017, total sales for the three neighborhoods were 37. That was a 131% increaseOakdale Crossing, RavenWing, Raven Point - 2017 Real Estate Review over 2016. Ironically, 2016 saw a -40% drop in sales over 2015, but 2015 saw a 23% increase in sales over 2014. Finally, 2014 was down -21% over 2013, and 2013 was down -21% over 2012. The numbers could give you whiplash if you were a seller in these three neighborhoods.

In the current breakdown, Oakdale Crossing had 6 sales, Raven Wing had 17 sales and Raven Pointe had 14 sales. Raven Wing has consistently carried the most sales from 2013-2017. On average, Raven Wing has double-digit sales compared to its immediate neighbors. Raven Pointe rose to 14 in 2017, but it has been below 8 for the past five years. Oakdale Crossing is typically in single digits with 2017 being the highest in the past five years.

Oakdale Crossing, Raven Wing, Raven Point: What’s in a day

Oakdale Crossing, RavenWing, Raven Point - 2017 Real Estate ReviewAnother way to see how the market has improved over the past five years is to look at the days on the market. The average days on the market can be a very revealing number, or it can yield nothing of valuable to the understanding of a neighborhood’s health.

In these three neighborhoods, this is one number that tells the story of the roller coaster ride these neighborhoods have been on over the past five years. The market of 2013 was the first year where real change was noticeable after the down days of the 2008 recession. It was also the lowest days on the market of the past five years. The 2017 days on the market was the lowest since 2013. At 75 average days on the market, it was 15% below 2016, 13% below 2015, 61% below 2014, and 23% above 2013. Again, there was volatility, but these numbers show a market fighting to get back to a healthy norm.

Oakdale Crossing, Raven Wing, Raven Point: Price change

Price change, up or down, can also show a market’s health. The price change in these three neighborhoods has shown the same pattern as the numbers above. The 2013 average home sale was $377,721. That was 8.5% increase over 2012. In 2014, the average sale price was $404,864, but 2013 dropped to $391,483 and 2015 dropped even further at $377,517. The biggest price change happened in 2017. In 2017, the average home sale was $436,964. That is a 16% increase over 2013 and a 16% increase over 2016.

When the numbers are looked at from a distance, it truly has been a roller coaster ride for the past five years. The thing that separates 2017 from earlier years is that all numbers are up except days on the market. That one number is the least important because there are so many factors that can increase or decrease that number, and those factors may not be related to market health.

For instance, a home that is overpriced will take longer to sell. A home that is hard to show will take longer to sell. A home that is in poor condition will take longer and a home that is plain vanilla in a sea of banana splits may take longer to sell. There are so many factors that can lengthen days on the market that it becomes the lessor of the market health parameters.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in any of these three neighborhoods, give Mike Cooper at Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. Mike and Cornerstone are your local real estate sales pros in Oakdale Crossing, Raven Wing and Raven Pointe.

You may also enjoy these previous reports on these neighborhoods and the local market. 

Oakdale Crossing is on the bright side of the economic recovery.

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