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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Clarke County, VA Real Estate Market Update – July 2017

Clarke County, VA Real Estate Market Update – July 2017

The Clarke County, VA real estate market is an anomaly in the northwestern region of the Shenandoah Valley. It is a market on an island. It’s not literally on an island, but figuratively it is very much isolated from many areas of the Virginia real estate market. You might say, it has its own course and it doesn’t follow its neighbors in their real estate markets.

The Clarke County, VA real estate market is a smaller market, but it still had 123 sales Clarke County, VA Real Estate Market Update - July 2017in July. That is the second highest sales volume during the month of July in the past five years. The 2016 July sales were 131, but that was considerably higher than the previous three years. Sales numbers for those three years were 87 in 2015, 100 in 2014 and 99 in 2013. The one obvious thing about the Clarke County, VA real estate sales is that they are all over the map.

Clarke County, VA Real Estate Market – By the numbers

There are a critical numbers in every real estate market. Those numbers tend to tell the story of a market’s health, and Clarke County is no different. In that body of data, days on the market, ratio of distressed properties and volume of sales and sale values are important predictors of future growth or decline. Here again, Clarke County, VA doesn’t always follow the norms, but they do give a glimpse into the future.

Clarke County, VA Real Estate Market Update - July 2017The ratio of distressed properties has dropped radically from 2013. There has been a 41% dropped in short sales and foreclosures over the past five years. That’s a very positive number that gives a little insight into the overall health of the market. The July 2017 distressed property sales were 9% of total sales, and that’s good when compared to most of the previous five years. It doesn’t look bad until you look at Clarke County’s next door neighbor, Frederick County. The Frederick County, VA real estate market saw 1.5% distressed property sales in July 2017. Here again, Clarke County is a different animal with different norms.

Over the past five July markets, distressed properties were 2017 – 9%, 2016 – 11%, 2015 – 6%, 2014 – 16% and 2013 – 22%. Only the 2015 had better numbers, but it also had a 30% lower sales volume. In realty, the trend from 2013 to 2017 was continuously moving down, and it is likely that 2015 would have been somewhere between 16% and 11% if the volume was higher.

Clarke County, VA Real Estate Market – Days on the market

Days on the market can also be a predictor of a real estate market’s health. Long periods on the market can signal that there are too many homes on the market, homes are priced too high, home condition issues may exist or there are simply to few buyers for homes.

In reverse, short days on the market can be the result of low inventory, a high number of buyers, well priced homes in desirable locations and in great condition. That short list creates an environment of quick sales and higher volumes of sales.

The five-year average for days on the market in Clarke County is 120, but the July 2017 days on the market hit a low of 91. That is the best overall number for the past five years and it shows a relatively steady decline in days on the market.

Clarke County, VA Real Estate Market – Dollars and cents

The last area of improvement in the Clarke County, VA real estate market is the average price of sales for July. The average sales price was $380,365. That is not a noticeable shift from 2016 which was $377,528, but when you look back five years to 2013, the numbers look better. The 2013 average price for July was $327,939. That’s a 14% increase from 2013.

There has been a steady climb in average sales price since 2013 with 2015 being an exception, but the low sales volume of 2015 caused the average price to be $545,417. Lower volume sales and higher priced homes created that deviation from the current trend.

Overall, the Clarke County, VA real estate market appears to be healthy. It may need a while longer before it fully recovers from its recession hangover, but the data that gives the best view of the market is trending up. When you’re ready to sell or buy a Clarke County, VA home, give your Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., agent a call. We are your real estate sales pros in the Shenandoah Valley.