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 sales 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 a 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.