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.

 

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Wakeland Manor, Stephens City, VA Real Estate Market Report – 2017

Wakeland Manor, Stephens City, VA Real Estate Market Report – 2017

Wakeland Manor, Stephens City, VA is a unique neighborhood of old and new and different. It is made up of older homes from the early to late seventies and more recent construction. It also has a section of luxury townhouses that are spacious and attractive.

The townhouse area has its own playground, tennis courts and a basketball court. In the newer section of detached homes there is a swimming pool that is available to residents. The newer section also has a community center. There are few areas in the Winchester-Frederick County real estate market that match Wakeland Manor amenities.

Wakeland Manor, Stephens City, VA Real Estate Market: The good news

The Wakeland Manor real estate market has two markets running on parallel tracks. Wakeland Manor, Stephens City, VA Real Estate Market Report - 2017The townhouse complex constitutes one market and the detached homes covers the the other one. Even there, the older homes are a market unto themselves. When you look at the market as a whole, the average sale price for 2017 was $260,454. Remove the townhouses from that and the average sales price was $302,489. The townhouse average sales price for 2017 was $215,617.

There were 62 combined sales in 2017. The detached homes sales made up 32 of those sales. In the combined number, there were 4 distressed properties. Each parallel track had 2. In all areas of Wakeland Manor, the real estate recession of 2008 caused a substantial drop in home values.

The 2007 home average sales price was $299,280 compared to the $260,454 today. That is a 13% drop in value over that 10 year period, but that is in line with the broader Winchester-Frederick County, VA market. The average, market-wide, is still 12% below the 2007 market. When you consider that the overall market took a 37% hit in 2008-2009, the recovery is fighting its way back to the pre-recession values.

Wakeland Manor, Stephens City, VA Real Estate Market: Distressed Properties

The continuing improvement in the Wakeland Manor real estate market is also seen in the number of distressed properties. Distressed properties are short sales and foreclosures. Both types can hurt home values when the numbers are high. In 2013, the total number of distressed properties were 25% of total market sales in Wakeland Manor. When those sales, which tend to be lower, are factored into area property values, they tend to reduce property values on a broad scale.

The 2017 distressed property sales in Wakeland Manor were 6.5%. That is in line with the overall Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market. This is an area that has been showing signs of improvement since 2013. From 2010-2012, distressed properties averaged 30% in Wakeland Manor. From 2014-2017, distressed properties averaged 7.25%. That leaves 2013 as the last dismal month for distressed property sales. That’s a good sign of an improving neighborhood economy.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in Wakeland Manor, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc. a call. We are your local real estate sales pros, and we’re here to help make some great happen.

 

 

 

 

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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Winchester-Frederick Co., VA Real Estate Market in Review – 2017

 

 

 

Winchester-Frederick Co., VA Real Estate Market in Review – 2017

Winchester-Frederick Co., VA Real Estate Market in Review – 2017

The Winchester-Frederick Co., VA real estate market ended 2017 with solid numbers and evidence that the trajectory is continuing up. Every sales number is positive, and the view for 2018 is upbeat and bright. The only negative number in the year in review is the inventory. Inventory as of December 31, 2017 stands at 254 now available homes in the Winchester-Frederick Co., real estate market. That is about 300 below the needed available homes necessary to keep the market healthy.

Winchester-Frederick Co., VA Real Estate Market in Review: Positive Numbers

The average sales price in 2017 was $269,724. That is a 3% increase from 2016. Winchester-Frederick Co., VA Real Estate Market in Review - 2017Historically, the 2017 numbers are 14% above 2013, 11% above 2014, and 8% above 2015. Each of the past five years have shown an increase in sales price. The year to year sales percentages have increased 3-5%. The 2016-2017 percentage is slightly smaller than the previous few years growth, but it has also struggled with inventory shortages.

More positive numbers: Days on the market

There are many details that show a real estate market’s health. Price and volume of sales are always a good place to start, but days on the market will show if prices are drawing buyers into the market or if they are limiting buyers.

Prior to the market decline in 2008, many buyers would have been priced out of the market because of the phantom rise in home prices. The thing that kept that from happening on a broad scale was the easy access to lender cash. With no doc loans and lenders scrambling for dollars, questionable buyers were allowed to stay in the market and buy homes they often could not afford or keep. Those buyers were the first wave of foreclosures at the beginning of the recession. At that time, days on the market was not as revealing as it is in a more stable market.

Winchester-Frederick Co., VA Real Estate Market in Review - 2017The current average days on the market for 2017 was 60. Over the past five years, that number has stayed consistent with a down movement of 25%. In 2014, the average days on the market reached a five-year high at 80, but it has drifted downward each year since.

A home that has been on the market for 100+ days is telling the seller that something is off. It might be location, price, condition, neighbors, or a market that is simply not moving. The Winchester-Frederick Co., VA is in peril of becoming the market that is not moving. Low inventory can ultimately paralyze a real estate market as quickly as a recession.

Winchester-Frederick Co., VA Real Estate Market in Review: Distressed Properties

Distressed properties are also a market health indicator. This is an area where skittish buyers can enter the market with confidence that the market is healthy and they are likely to see equity appreciation over the average five years of ownership. This is also the area of greatest improvement in the Winchester-Frederick Co., VA real estate market over the past five years.

Local distressed property sales, which are made up of foreclosures (REOs) and short Winchester-Frederick Co., VA Real Estate Market in Review - 2017sales, settled into an average of 6% for the year. Throughout the year, a few months saw that number drift to as low as 3%, but the overall average is twice that. Over the past five years, the number of distressed properties has dropped precipitously. The 2013 distressed properties sold in the Winchester-Frederick Co., VA real estate market were 22% of the market. That was followed by 14% in 2014, 13% in 2015, 8% in 2016 and the new low of 6% in 2017.

The continuous drop in distressed properties is one of the most encouraging numbers in the local real estate market. It helps sellers regain lost value in their homes. A street full of foreclosures and short sales affects every house on the street. When neighborhood distressed properties disappear, home values begin to settle back into a true value. The total number of distressed properties in the Winchester-Frederick Co., VA real estate market were 94. When you reflect back to 2013 at 339 with lower overall volume sales, the local market looks a lot better.

Winchester-Frederick Co., VA Real Estate Market in Review: The Only Bad News

There is a great deal of good news in the Winchester-Frederick Co., VA real estate market, but there is one hurdle the market will need to overcome in 2018 if the market is going to reach new highs. Inventory. Inventory is the 800 lb gorilla in the living room.

As mentioned above, inventory is at a decade low. At 254 currently built homes available, the market is struggling to give homes for would-be buyers. Sellers can’t list because there is nowhere to move, and buyers can’t buy because there is nothing to buy. Low inventory could have the local market in a standoff.

If sellers won’t list because of the lack of available properties for them to move to, then buyers have nothing to buy and the circular dilemma continues. That could push buyers into other markets. The Jefferson County, WV market is the fastest growing market in the top of the Shenandoah Valley. Driving buyers and sellers into other markets does nothing to help the Winchester-Frederick Co., VA market.

At some point in the first quarter of 2018, someone has to blink. Even rentals are at a low of 80 available. Sellers who are willing to rent for a year after they sell, have nowhere to move to in the rental market. The inventory issue needs to be addressed early in 2018. If not, the New Year may enter unfamiliar territory in the Winchester-Frederick Co., VA real estate market.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Winchester-Frederick Co., VA real estate market, give Mike Cooper a call. Mike is your local real estate sales pro.