Home sales were down significantly in January compared to the previous year. Here are the numbers:
January 2008: 52
January 2009: 36
That’s a plunge of 30.7% in the Harrisonburg area.
Is the sky falling? I don’t think so. January’s sales reflect contracts written in November and December — which were the months during which the economic crisis really hit home on our TV sets and internet news feeds. Anecdotally speaking, November and December of 2008 were the quietest months I have ever experienced as a Realtor, with no close second.
Since the New Year we have seen a burst of activity — phone calls, showings, and contracts. It looks like our real estate team will have the best first quarter in three years, and I am hearing good reports from other agents. The MLS shows that there are 111 homes under contract in the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
I don’t think we are going to see a hot market anytime soon. But nor do I think the sky is falling.
(Our report this month is a little on the skinny side. As the year progresses, we’ll be adding more data in the monthly reports. For example, in early April we’ll report on the average and median price in the first quarter versus the previous year–and several other helpful data points. We’ll also show you how the total inventory is fluctuating starting next month. Stay tuned!)