Winchester-Frederick County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Market Update – 2018

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Market Update – 2018

The Winchester-Frederick County, VA mid-year real estate market update for 2018 continues to show promise of a good year despite the effects of a few headwinds. Throughout the country, many housing markets have slowed. There are many pockets of robust sales, but in a general sense, there has been a slowdown. Forbes magazine points to a housing slowdown in its six predictions for the 2018 housing market.

A Pull-back in Winchester-Frederick County, VA Home Sales

Winchester-Frederick Co., VA did see a slight pull-back from 2017 home sales. Housing Winchester-Frederick County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Market Update - 2018sales were 827 for the first half of 2018. That is a 4% decline over 2017 sales (856). The majority of local sales were in the Frederick County side of the market, which is consistent year to year. Frederick County had 665 sales in the first half of 2018 and Winchester City had 162. The 2017 sales were Frederick County at 682 and Winchester City at 174.

There were contributing factors in the decline in sales. Low inventory continues to haunt the country. There are 365 available homes on the Winchester-Frederick County, VA housing market. That is a considerable improvement from the first of the year, and an even greater improvement from the Fall of 2017. With the market finding its most aggressive point at 500-600 homes available at any time, 365 is still only 73% of the low-side of a healthy market. The current number of available homes is 2.9 months of inventory.

Winchester vs Frederick County, VA Home Sale Appreciation

As inventory improves, other factors are affecting home-buyers. Local home prices have fluctuated both up and down over the year to year statistics. Frederick County, VA has seen a 7% price increase on an average home. The first six months saw an average home selling at $284,590, while 2017 was $265,844. That is good news for county home-owners who are in the market to sell.

Winchester City did not fare as well. The Winchester City market was off by 9.8%. The average housing price dropped from $270,575 in 2017 to $243,834 in 2018. Availability may have been an issue in the city, but for those who choose to live in the city, affordable housing may be another problem. Many of those who are now renting are having a struggle saving enough money for down-payments, earnest money deposits and mortgage payments. Local rental costs have soared in the past few years, putting potential home-buyers on the sidelines. U. S. News and World Report has predicted that climbing rental costs will keep more Americans in rentals in 2018. 

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Distressed Sales

One area of the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market that has not been Winchester-Frederick County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Market Update - 2018a drag on home sales and value, has been the distressed property sales. Distressed properties are foreclosures and short sales. The 2018 mid-year average was at 6.4%. That is slightly higher than 2017, but it is small. The 2017 number was 5.7%. The local real estate market has hovered around 6% for many of the years since the recession of 2008 – 2013. The national average has fallen consistently and is at the lowest level since 2007. 

There are currently 232 pending sales in the local market. Of that number, 4.2% are distressed properties. A greater and more encouraging number is the number of new construction homes that are under contract. Currently, 14% of the pending home sales are new construction.

If new construction is factored into the local available housing numbers, there are 579 homes available. That is 37% of the local available properties. That brings the available properties back in line with a strong and vibrant market. The only issue with “to-be-built” homes is the waiting period. If a new resident, or a current home-owner who chooses to build a new home, the waiting period may force the new resident into a rental, and that same period may compel the home-owner to keep the current home off the market until a short time before the new home is ready to move into, stifling inventory.

The Winchester-Frederick County, VA housing market can be very static at times. After the challenges of the pre-and-post recession, a more steady movement in the market is welcome. It would be ideal to see an increase in inventory and sales, but as long as the critical numbers are moving in the right direction, the local market is consistently improving.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market, give us a call. Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., is your local real estate sales pro, and we can make something great happen with your housing needs.

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Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Report – 2018

Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Report – 2018

Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA had a great first quarter real estate report. The market is up 100% over 2017, and it had no foreclosures or short sales. The number of Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Report - 2018distressed properties is significant. During the down days of the recession, the first quarter in Canter Estates was heavily dominated by distressed properties. For instance, 2010 had 75% distressed properties in 1st quarter sales, 2011 had 50% and 2012 was back up to 75%. Zero distressed properties in 2018 should give homeowners confidence that their property values are steady and heading up.

Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA 1st Quarter: Property values climb

The lack of distressed properties bodes well for property values in Canter Estates. Foreclosures and short sales in any neighborhood can drag property values down. When they are absent, true property values surface.

Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA 1st Quarter Real Estate Report - 2018Another positive sign for Canter Estates is the average sales price. Each year since 2014, average sales price has risen. From 2014 to 2015 property values rose 4.6%. The rise was smaller from 2015 to 2016 with a 1% change in values. The biggest property increase happened between 2016 to 2017 with 14% and 2017 to 2018 climbed 1.5%. The good news in the numbers is that there has been a steady climb in property values and a steady decline in distressed properties.

Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA 1st Quarter: Another number that can give insight into a neighborhood’s health is Day on the Market.

Days on the market is an unusual indicator of a real estate market’s health. In some cases, it can be significant. In other scenarios, it can show almost nothing. It is not an indicator that I would encourage home buyers or sellers to depend on when it comes to the decision-making process.

Canter Estates is a perfect example of a subdivision where the DOM mean nearly nothing. The numbers have hardly changed over the past five years. They have gone from 55 in 2014 to 53 in 2018. The shortest DOM was 2016 at 39, and the longest was 2015 with 61. The change is so insignificant, that it would not be a number that would give a buyer an advantage in the offer price, nor would it tell a seller there is something wrong with his/her home.

Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA 1st Quarter: Steady, healthy and highly desirable.

If I was going to describe Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA, I would say it is a neighborhood that is steady, healthy and highly desirable. Its position along highway Rt 522 gives is quick access to Rt 66, I81, Rt 50 and Rt 7. It is a commuters dream come true. Quick access to the DC metro area makes it valuable for commuters, and the home prices are stunning in comparison to its eastern neighbors.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA, give me a call at Cornerstone Business Group, Inc. I am your local real estate sales pro, and I’m here to help you make something great happen.

 

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.

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.