May 16th, 2013 by Chris Rooker · No Comments
The Harrisonburg real estate market usually picks up major speed during the spring and summer months. We typically see a rise in contracts and sales because this is the time of year when buyers are out in full swing, searching for their next (or first!) home. March proved successful with a rise in contracts, sales, and average sales prices, but how did April fare? Check out our latest Market Report:
Year-to-date, sales have increased in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County by 25% compared to 2012! And for the month of April compared to March, sales rose by nearly 50%. An increase of this magnitude really sets up 2013 for a great year, and we’re excited to see what the rest of the year brings for our local market. You’ll also notice that average sales price dropped a smidgen… its now down 0.2%, but we’re confident this will increase yet again as the months pass.
Above, you’ll see the number of sales per month for the past year. During the summer months, sales are relatively strong because it builds from the springtime, so we see that this year, April’s strong sales will contribute to the year’s total in a very positive way.
We’re getting used to contracts increasing month over month, and now year-to-date, contracts are up by 37% from 2012! List prices of those contracts this year have decreased slightly, but, a positive note for sellers, the days on market is 20 days shorter. (That equates to just about one mortgage payment of savings!)
As you can see, April is usually a strong month for contracts in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, and 2013 is no exception. In fact, this year is the strongest we’ve seen in years!
Over the past 12 months, we see that April 2013 was the strongest month for both contracts and sales. The fact that contracts are up at the same level as sales means we should see a strong sales number a couple of months from now, too.
Above, we see the trends in average sales prices versus the number of homes that have sold. On average, sales prices are staying somewhat steady, and we hope to see that number rise a bit this year. The good news is that buyers are active right now, and the market is moving along!
Overall, April 2013 was a strong month for the local real estate market, and we look forward to seeing what the rest of spring brings for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Buyers are out searching, homes are selling in a shorter amount of time, and contracts are being written daily. This is all great news!
Stay tuned for more Market Trends, right here on Harrisonblog…
Tags: Market Trends
May 2nd, 2013 by Lisa Oates · No Comments
On a sunny morning last week, I drove through Elkton on my way to Skyline Drive — it was National Park Week, and a way cool excuse to get a glimpse of the Valley during spring! A stop at Appalachia Baking Company before ascending into Shenandoah National Park was the perfect place to get a hot cup of coffee, some mini cinnamon buns, and a smile. If you haven’t enjoyed this coffee shop and bistro, you simply must visit!
The decor is a bit eclectic — in a good way — with comfy couches next to a packed bookshelf and a fish tank, booths and tables for the busy lunch time hours, an old rotary phone hanging on the wall, rustic touches, a piano in the corner, and several glass cases full of breads, pastries, and other culinary delights. Though I’d never been there before, I felt like part of the “family” because the staff was friendly, and a neighboring shop owner stopped in and talked to me like we’d known each other for decades.
The phone was ringing at a steady pace with customers calling in their lunch orders and asking for booths to be saved. It must be raging with regulars around noon!
More perks: free wi-fi, they cater, and the coffee was great (this, coming from a coffee snob)!
So next time you are in Elkton, or just in the mood for a great lunch or cup of coffee, head to Appalachia Baking Company. You will not be disappointed!
Appalachia Baking Company
204 W Spotswood Avenue, Elkton, VA 22827
Open Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Visit their Facebook Page!
Tags: Photos · Places
April 16th, 2013 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · 1 Comment
Compared to last year at this time, sales are up 19.2%, average sales price is up 2.4%, and median sales price is up 6.1%! This is all very good news. As long as we see this trend continue, 2013 should prove to be a successful year for the local real estate market. See these stats and more below:
You can also see in the chart above that average price/square foot has decreased by 2.3% compared to last year, but we’re still confident that this will turn around as we move through the year. Another positive is that homes are sitting on the market for much less time than in 2012! (And that isn’t even counting the busy spring and summer months!)
Continuing to look at sales versus sales prices, in the chart above, you’ll notice that sales prices seem to have recovered from the low point and we hope to see this number continue rising — even if just slightly — in the months to come. We also expect to see the number of sales increase as we’ve seen a large rise in contracts over the past couple of months!
Speaking of contracts, compared to 2012, the Harrisonburg real estate market has seen an increase in buyer activity by 22.5%! As a reminder, we don’t see every single contract turn into a sale, but most do, and this is a sign of great things to come. Homes that have gone under contract this year are also sitting on the market for less time, so this trend should continue as they turn into sales.
WOW!! March 2013 was the highest contract producing month since 2010 (and probably longer)! It is obviously the best March for contracts in the past few years, and we’re excited to see most of these turn into sales in the next few months!
Sellers will appreciate the chart above because it shows the average days on market for homes sold over the past several years. We haven’t seen this low of DOM since about August 2011!
Finally, take a look at the number of sales versus contracts over the past 12 months. We love seeing the contracts line rise above the sales bar, and March gives a large jump in contracts. This bodes well for the future of the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate markets!
Overall, we are happy with this month’s report and look forward to what next month will bring. Spring is always a busy real estate season, and 2013 is no exception!
Stay tuned for more Market Trends, right here on Harrisonblog…
Tags: Market Trends
April 11th, 2013 by Lisa Oates · No Comments
The City Manager for the City of Harrisonburg, Kurt Hodgen, has revealed his proposed budget for fiscal year 2014. If you like reading into every detail, you can grab your favorite beverage and delve into the whole plan here. For you “bullet point” kind of folks, though, we’ve gathered some highlights for you:
- “Local Aid to the Commonwealth” has been eliminated, saving the City over $200,000 in fiscal year 2014.
- 7.5 new City positions are proposed, including 5.5 for the police department, a GIS Technician for Community Development, and an HR Generalist in Human Resources.
- School Board budget increase of 2%, or $832,000 in local funding.
- Over $5 million in departmental requests were cut from this proposed budget.
- Proposed increase in real estate taxes of $0.04. (Of note: there are now only 11 cities in Virginia that are larger than Harrisonburg and all of them have real estate taxes that are at least 30 cents higher than ours.)
- Planned increase in the Water Fund rate of $0.07, and a planned increase in the Sewer Fund rate of $0.19.
- The total proposed budget (all funds) shows an increase of approximately $10.2 million, or 5%.
The public hearing and first reading is likely occurring on April 23, so if you’d like to attend, mark your calendar (and double check the date as it approaches)!
Tags: Issues · News
March 20th, 2013 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · No Comments
Last month, we gave a couple of predictions for 2013 — prices will increase and home values will rise. So far, our predictions have been proven mostly correct, which is a wonderful thing for our local economy and real estate market. Stay tuned to this report to see how the year unfolds. For now, though, take a look at February’s stats:
Year-to-date, we’ve experienced a 37.8% increase in sales, a 2.5% increase in median sales price, and a 15.7% shorter time on the market for listings compared to last year. Home values last year were at $102.51 per square foot, and this year so far they are at $96.45 per square foot. In February alone, though, values were at $99.13 per square foot, which means if this positive trend continues, we can make up for January’s not-so-great number.
Above, you can see how sales and contracts have fared over the past 12 months. As we always say, we like to see the contracts line rise above the sales bar because it is the promise of sales to come. The higher the contracts line, the more sales we should see in the months to come.
Last year we saw a positive trend in contracts written throughout most of the year, and this year, this number keeps on rising! So far, we’ve seen a 21.0% increase in contracts in 2013.
Not only have we seen an increase in contracts from last year, but this February was the highest for contracts over the past four February’s in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. This is great news… buyers are active and sellers are selling, and at an even faster pace on average!
We are thrilled with the trends occurring in our local real estate market this year, and predict things will only get more positive. Stay tuned to find out how 2013 pans out… right here on Harrisonblog.
Tags: Market Trends
February 21st, 2013 by Lisa Oates · No Comments
In September 2012, the City of Harrisonburg applied for a grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development with the hopes of gaining funds to revitalize the Cassco Ice House Complex in downtown Harrisonburg. The City received $500,000 for this project, which is the largest grant allotment of the more than $900,000 in total grant funds awarded across Virginia.
The Cassco Ice House Complex was built in 1934 and is a landmark that has been the focal point of Harrisonburg’s urban core for over 75 years. Sadly, though, this 80,000 square foot building has deteriorated over the years and needs a renovation.
Here is what the building looks like today (in Google Street View):
Private companies and citizens have been working with local government to make this project a reality for quite some time, so it is exciting to see this partnership having an effect on the Harrisonburg community and revitalizing our local economic development as well!
February 12th, 2013 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · 1 Comment
A new year brings new opportunities, new challenges, new experiences, a new outlook. 2012 brought an increase of 9.2% in home sales for the year, and though home values dropped 1%, our team is confident that this number will turn to the positive in 2013. Lets take a look at the year so far, as January’s numbers are in:
Take note that January market reports are actually quite boring… only one month of numbers are shown, winter isn’t usually real estate’s best season, and its just sort of dull. However, this year the number of sales has already increased by 20.5% compared to last January! You probably also notice that home values (average price per square foot) are down by almost 13%, too, but remember, this is all based on one month of data. We still believe that these stats will improve this year!
Above is a bigger picture of how sales and average sales prices have been trending since January 2010. Typically, sales in January and February start off pretty slow and then a snowball effect occurs in the spring and through the summer. 2012 showed a bit more stamina in terms of sales as the positive sales numbers kept rolling in through the end of the year (with the exception of September). We’d like to see that happen again this year, but only time will truly tell what is to come for our local real estate market.
Days on market (DOM) in 2012 reached highs in all months except for two, but in 2013, we already see a slight drop in this number. This is good news for sellers because they can expect to see their home sit on the market for a shorter amount of time.
Lets move on to contracts… the promise of sales. 76 buyers have already committed to purchasing residential property this year, which is a 28.8% increase from last year at this time! During almost all of 2012, we were doting on the impressive increases in contracts, and 2013, so far, is no different. The fact that contracts have increased gives us a good idea of what sales will be like in the months to come. (Contracts usually turn into sales!)
January 2013 was by far the best month for contracts compared to the past four Januaries. As you can see in the chart above, each year has consecutively “beefed up” in terms of contracts, so we look forward to another strong year in 2013!
Finally, we see the comparison of sales versus contracts in this last chart. When contracts are higher than sales in a given month, that is a great sign of growth to come because as we said earlier, most contracts turn into sales.
To sum it all up:
- YTD Sales are up 20.5%
- YTD Contracts are up 28.8%
- Home values are down right now, but we predict this will rise over the course of 2013
Tags: Market Trends
February 6th, 2013 by Lisa Oates · No Comments
Back in 2011, we wrote a blog post about the Massanetta Springs neighborhood on the outskirts of Harrisonburg, yet amongst a gorgeous setting in the woods, surrounded by glamorous subdivisions, a beautiful retirement community, and Lakeview Golf Course. Massanetta Springs is truly unique, featuring a relaxing retreat that is literally minutes from the city.
A restoration project of the hotel has begun at the Massanetta Springs Conference Center, which not only updates the look and feel of the building, but also seeks to appeal to a larger demographic. The first phase of the project is already complete, updating the exterior stucco, windows, and roof of the 1910 historic hotel. The entire $11 million project is projected to take two more years.
Because the original hotel was built so solidly, the decision to restore rather than tear down was easy. Did you know this building also houses Rockingham County’s second largest dining room? This will be updated with more comfortable chairs, and the hotel itself will sleep nearly 400, including more than 100 suites. The next phases will include renovation of the lobby, elevators, staircases, and finishing the upstairs rooms.
Take a look at more detail of this project, or even make a donation, at MassanettaSprings.org!
Tags: News · Places
January 28th, 2013 by Lisa Oates · No Comments
One of the coolest things going for Rockingham County is the relatively new Technology Park just north of Harrisonburg on Route 11. It’s called Innovation Village @ Rockingham, and is a master planned village that will consist of offices, laboratories, light manufacturing space, multi-use buildings, pedestrian walkways, picnic areas, and a venue for concerts and events! They’ve got a strategic partnership with James Madison University in place, which will also give students the opportunity to perform research and affect the local economy in a powerful way.
SRI International plugged its east coast hub here in 2009, and the local station is called SRI Shenandoah Valley. This company operates a 40,000 square foot research facility at this technology park.
According to a press release from Rockingham County Economic Development, a new website has been launched for Innovation Village @ Rockingham:
The County’s vision is that IV@R will become the region’s premier high-tech and biotech hub. In order to market the park more aggressively, the Economic Development team decided to create a dedicated website for IV@R. Previously, information about IV@R was housed on a single page on the Economic Development website.
To see a list of the new features available on this website, check out the press release. Some of our favorites are the maps, photo slideshows, and 3D renderings!
Tags: News · Places
January 25th, 2013 by Lisa Oates · No Comments
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year! Part of the excitement will be a two-hour event at Clementine, where awards will be given, a presentation of past progress will be featured, future plans will be revealed, and of course, refreshments will be served.
(Side note: If you read our latest email newsletter, you’ll notice the date of this event has changed from February 23rd to the 25th!)
February 25, 2013
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM