November 15th, 2013 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · No Comments
The first three quarters of 2013 proved to be positive for the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market. As we enter the fourth quarter of each year, it is always interesting to see how it will end up. Will this quarter still show strong numbers as we head into the new year? Of course, only time will tell, but we predict that the transition to 2014 will be a smooth one with positive results! Check out the stats for October:
Not only did we see a jump in sales from September to October, we also saw a jump of 21% from last year at this time! Additionally, sales prices are up, sellers are getting more “bang for their buck,” values are holding steady, and homes are sitting on the market for about a month less compared to last year. This is all fabulous news for our local real estate market!
Average sold/list percentage is a statistic that tells us how much sellers are getting at the closing table compared to the final list price of their home. For example, a 100% sold/list percentage would mean that the sellers sold their home for full asking price. See November 2012 in the chart above? Sellers were getting 91% of their list price then, and now that stat is up to over 94%, which is great news for sellers. This also helps drive up — or at least stabilize — average price per square foot, which we equate, to some degree, to home values.
As for contracts, we’re still seeing positive trends this year, with an increase in contracts written year-over-year by nearly 21%, the prices of homes going under contract being slightly higher than last year, and days on market considerably less. Again, this is great news for sellers. Buyers are still active in our local market, and homes are selling faster for more money.
Although contracts for October were lower than the previous couple of years, 2013 overall has been quite strong. We’re confident that contracts will continue to trend positively as the year comes to a close.
With an upbeat October in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, we’re looking forward to the next couple months. The holiday season typically puts a damper on our local real estate sales, but because this year has proven its stability, we predict 2013 will finish strong.
Stay tuned for more Market Trends… right here on Harrisonblog.
Tags: Market Trends
October 9th, 2013 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · No Comments
With the third quarter of 2013 under our belt, we’ve got some more real estate statistics to report for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Residential sales, sales prices, average price per square foot, contracts, and days on market continue to trend positively! Take a look at the details below:
Although sales declined from August to September of this year (by 28.2%), we typically see this drop during the fall months. Spring and summer generally give the strongest growth for each year, so we’re not surprised by this negative number. However, looking at the big picture, we see that compared to last year at this time, sales have increased by 21.8%, with 777 total homes sold in 2013! Sales prices have also risen by about 2%, and average price per square foot is up by 1.7%. The amount of time homes sit on the market continues, too, to be about a month less than last year, which is great news for sellers. To top it all off, sellers are getting almost 96% of their final asking price.
Above, you can see how sales have trended over the past 12 months. This gives a nice visual to the dip in sales during fall and winter, and the increase in spring and summer, as mentioned above. We’re confident that 2013 will finish strong!
The chart above lays out how median sales prices have fared versus median list prices over the past 12 months, with the average sold/list percentage rising to its highest point for the past year. Prices are steadily rising, and sellers are getting more “bang for their buck!”
Again, monthly numbers are down in terms of contracts written, but year-to-date, we see that contracts are still higher than last year at this time by 16.7%, with 879 total contracts written (compared to 753 last year). Prices for contracts written are higher as well, and the days on market for these homes is also down by about a month. Homes are selling faster and for more money than we’ve seen in the past few years, which shows that our local real estate market is returning to a healthy state.
Finally, a quick look at sales versus contracts for the past year above shows us that both continue on a steady pace. And as we mentioned above, we believe that this year will finish strong. We look forward to seeing how the final quarter of 2013 fares!
Stay tuned for more Market Trends… right here on Harrisonblog.
Tags: Market Trends
October 4th, 2013 by Lisa Oates · 1 Comment
Halloween on the Square is a community favorite annual event coming up on October 26! The day will be filled with fun for the whole family, including face painting, balloon animals, cupcake decorating with The Cupcake Company, costume contests, even events for pets! But what we’re most excited about this year is that our team will be participating in TRICK OR TREATING!
From noon until 2:00 PM, stop by our downtown office at 83 South Main Street to score some sweets and say hello.
Besides trick or treating and the fun events listed above, there will be some other halloween excitement happening downtown, too:
For all of the event details, visit Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.
Tags: Events · Fun
October 2nd, 2013 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · No Comments
Shenandoah Valley Innovation Coalition Event: Dr. Curtis Carlson, President, SRI International
October 25, 2013, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Blue Ridge Community College, Plecker Center
The Shenandoah Valley Innovation Coalition will be hosting Dr. Curtis Carlson, President of SRI International, for a regional overview of his widely acclaimed Disciplines of Innovation model.
Dr. Carlson will speak at Blue Ridge Community College on October 25 at 10:30 a.m. A Q&A period will follow. Head on over and hear how you can help nurture a more creative, forward thinking approach to the future of the Shenandoah Valley!
This is a public event. SVP membership or pre-registration are NOT required.
About Shenandoah Valley Innovation Coalition:
The Shenandoah Valley Innovation Coalition is an informal association of organizations and private sector entrepreneurs supporting economic growth and vitality in the region. The mission is to “create a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation for the long-term economic and community well-being of this area and the larger Shenandoah Valley”. Its members provide a balanced representation of government, business, and education. Their purpose is to spur innovation and entrepreneurship in the Shenandoah Valley. The SVIC hosted the Harrisonburg Startup Weekend this past April, and the committee is working on another one for early 2014.
Tags: Events · People
October 2nd, 2013 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · No Comments
With Congress unable to come to a resolution regarding the budget, and “shutting down” for the time being, the effects will be widespread throughout our economy. How will it effect the real estate market?
Realtor.org has a page dedicated to this issue, and is keeping it updated as more information becomes available. They’re tracking status information for several government agencies and their contingency plans — the IRS, Social Security Administration, Federal Housing Administration, VA Loan Guaranty Program, Flood Insurance, and many, many more.
As of the publishing of this post, here are some summaries of how each real estate related agency is handling the shutdown:
Federal Housing Administration
HUD’s Contingency Plan states that FHA will endorse new loans in the Single Family Mortgage Loan Program, but it will not make new commitments in the Multi-family Program during the shutdown. FHA will maintain operational activities including paying claims and collecting premiums. Management & Marketing (M&M) Contractors managing the REO portfolio can continue to operate. You can expect some delays with FHA processing.
VA Loan Guaranty Program
Lenders will continue to process and guaranty mortgages through the Loan Guaranty program in the event of a government shutdown. Expect some delays during the shutdown.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirmed that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will not be impacted by a government shutdown, since NFIP is funded by premiums and not tax dollars. Changes to the flood insurance program scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1 will be implemented as scheduled.
Rural Housing Programs
For the U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, essential personnel working during a shutdown do not include field office staff who typically issue conditional commitments, loan note guarantees, and modification approvals. Thus, lenders will not receive approvals during the shutdown. If the lender has already received a conditional commitment from the Rural Development office, then the lender may proceed to close those loans during the shutdown. A conditional commitment, which is good for 90 days, is given to a lender once a USDA Underwriter approves the loan. If a commitment was already issued, the funds were already set aside and the lender may close the loan at its leisure. If Rural Development has not issued a conditional commitment, the lender must wait until funding legislation is enacted before closing a loan.
It is important to note that the traditional definition of “rural” for qualifying communities for assistance will be continued in effect during the shutdown. We expect that language to continue the current definition will be included in whatever funding measure is eventually enacted.
Government Sponsored Enterprises
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue operating normally, as will their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, since they are not reliant on appropriated funds.
The Making Home Affordable program, including HAMP and HAFA, will not be affected as the program is funded through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act which is mandatory spending not discretionary.
We also found this interview with Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors®, to be quite helpful in understanding whether or not the government shutdown will kill the real estate recovery.
Tags: Issues · News
September 27th, 2013 by Lisa Oates · No Comments
Harrisonburg is a diverse community, and the City of Harrisonburg is embracing it by celebrating all of the different cultures represented here with a 10-day celebration to include the annual Harrisonburg International Festival, food tours, film festivals, and more. James Madison University is honoring the international community as well with JMU International Week with an international bazaar, photo contest, documentary film screening, and a music workshop.
The full list of events that will take place from September 27 – October 6, 2013, can be viewed on the City of Harrisonburg’s website. This celebration is fun for the whole family!
September 17th, 2013 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · No Comments
So far, 2013 has proven to be quite successful for the local Harrisonburg real estate market. Sales, sales prices, and contracts have all risen this year, ramping up a strong year of growth and setting up 2014 for even more success. August typically takes a small dip each year in terms of sales because of folks busily getting ready for the fall season and getting in those last minute vacations, but this year is different in that buyers are still active and sellers are consistently getting more “bang for their buck.” Check out our Market Report for August:
Compared to year-to-date 2012, sales have increased by nearly 22% in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, with an increase in average sales prices of 2.5%. Homes are not only selling for more money this year, but they are also sitting on the market for 13.1% less time — 29 days, to be exact! Good news for sellers: they are able to save both time and money when listing their homes.
The chart above shows a visual of how the local market has fared in terms of sales for the past 12 months. August is the strongest month over the past year!
Sticking to the topic of sales and prices, above we see that though the number of sales has fluctuated over the past few years, sales prices have stayed relatively steady, and have gradually increased (albeit, at a slow pace) as time has passed.
Average sold/list percentage is a helpful statistic for home sellers because it shows the difference between what price they list their home at and what it eventually sells for, but in a percentage format. In August YTD, this percentage was 95.6%. This means that so far this year, sellers are getting 95.6% of their home’s final asking price. Note: this is up 0.4% from last year at this time.
Moving on to contracts, which are the “promise of sales to come,” we see that 2013 YTD has 793 total contracts written, up 18.4% compared to last year at this time. The list prices of these homes are also up, and the average days on market for homes going under contract is down 31 days, or 14.0%! This is all very good news for sellers and our local real estate market in general.
Finally, the above chart lays out how contracts have trended since January 2010 through the present. Typically, contracts dip during the winter months and rise again during the spring and summer months, tapering off in the fall. Compared to the last few years, August fared quite well with number of contracts written at 101.
Overall, August was a strong month for our local Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market, with sales up 21.9%, average sales prices up 2.5%, days on market down by a month, and contracts up 18.4%!
Stay tuned for more Market Trends, right here on Harrisonblog…
Tags: Market Trends
September 13th, 2013 by Lisa Oates · No Comments
Mike Martin, a graduate with a Master of Science in Kinesiology and a concentration in Exercise Science from James Madison University, founded Next Level Athletic Development in Harrisonburg in May 2010 with the vision of bringing local college and high school athletes to a higher level of strength and conditioning. He has extensive experience in exercise science and works with both teams and individuals for a variety of sports — most notably baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, and basketball. Next Level Athletic Development has grown significantly since inception, so Martin is moving into a new, larger 9,800 square foot facility on Acorn Drive.
According to Martin, “This facility will be home to our new training facility as well an indoor soccer facility complete with indoor soccer turf, dasher boards, and goals. We will continue to seek to grow our sports performance business and I do feel having access to an indoor turf field will allow me greater and more improved training options for our athletes, including more hitting/pitching/throwing opportunities for our baseball and softball players. We will also be running indoor soccer leagues throughout the fall, winter, and spring during the evening hours. We hope to be in the building by early October and have the first league up and running by then as well.” (emphasis added)
Follow Next Level Athletic Development on Facebook!
Tags: News · Places
September 6th, 2013 by Lisa Oates · No Comments
A free community event is coming to Harrisonburg’s Turner Pavilion on Sunday, September 15, called Harrisonburg Park Jam. This will benefit Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and helps to promote the area’s vibrant arts culture and add to the downtown music scene.
According to the hosts: “The concept of the event is simple: DJs, dancers, and people of all ages from the JMU and local Harrisonburg community getting together to dance, socialize, and have a good time. The goal of this event is to promote the positive aspects of Hip-Hop culture by displaying how it all started: people coming together through music, dance, and self expression.”
The DJs featured at Harrisonburg Park Jam are Neals Barkley, Fayo, Neili Neil, and Ryan Clark.
Also of note, this will be an alcohol free event with a safe and positive environment.
Harrisonburg Park Jam
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Turner Pavilion in Downtown Harrisonburg [map]
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
September 3rd, 2013 by The Harrisonburg Homes Team · No Comments
Most of you already know that homeowners can get a tax break when making their homes more energy efficient, but did you know that the possibility exists for you to qualify for a larger loan or a better interest rate if the home you’re purchasing is deemed energy efficient? A bill has been introduced to allow for such a situation as this, essentially taking into consideration the fact that your utility bills would be much lower, and thus, you’d be able to afford more.
The bill, also called The SAVE Act — Sensible Accounting to Value Energy – was introduced originally by Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) and Michael Bennett (D-Colorado), and initially “shot down” because of some penalties against older and less efficient homes. However, this portion of the bill has since been removed and it was re-introduced in June to Congress. According to NY Times:
The government already promotes so-called energy-efficient mortgages under a Department of Housing and Urban Development program. But the proposed legislation would require lenders to take the projected energy savings into account when presented with a qualified energy report. The senators originally introduced the bill in 2011, and although it attracted support from groups across a broad political spectrum — including the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Center for American Progress — it failed to gain approval. The sponsors have broadened its appeal within the real estate industry, chiefly by eliminating provisions that could have penalized older, less efficient homes or those lacking a report based on estimated energy consumption.
To get this type of loan, an approved inspector would have to prepare a home-energy report for the lender, explaining the benefits of investing in the “green” upgrades for the particular home.
Remember, we are not mortgage and loan experts! If you’d like to find out more about this or any other type of loan, please contact us and we can put you in touch with some excellent lenders in the Harrisonburg area.
Tags: Issues · News