The results are in! We are almost through the year 2010, so the year-to-date numbers [below] are really telling us a story of how the year has progressed versus last year. Last month (October’s Market Report), we reported that sales were down over 20% from September, and down over 4% from last year. Take a look at the statistics for November below.
While sales were up from last month (October = 49 and November = 56), sales were down from last November by over 33%. Ouch. This has a lot to do with the fact that last November had great numbers, which had almost doubled from November 2008. Last November saw a surge in sales because the initial deadline for the first-time home buyer tax credit was November 30, 2009. (It ended up getting extended to June 30, 2010, but buyers did not know that at the time.)
Year-to-date stats are a much better indicator of how the real estate market is doing because it shows us long-term data, and effects it has on our housing market. Sales are down 7.61% from 2009, as are list and sold prices (but not much). Folks continue to buy larger homes than last year, which probably has to do with the fact that the first time home buyer tax credit ran out. Average price per square foot decreased by over 5%, but compared to many other parts of the country (and the Commonwealth), that isn’t such a huge negative. Buyers find it quite nice, actually, because they are able to get more house for their dollar.
Here are the number of sales grouped by price range. More homes priced at $500k+ sold this month than in the $400k price range, which is unusual. However, most sales occurred in the $100k – $200k price range, which is common for our area. Homes in this price range also sat on the market for the longest period of time, though. This is probably due to the fact that there are so many homes in this price range for folks to choose from, that it takes that much longer to sell. Another reason to set your home apart from the rest when you are trying to sell!
Lastly, we’ve charted out the total properties sold month-over-month for our area (Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, including Massanutten Resort) above. Clearly, sales have decreased since last November, and the only month that has had a sales month better than last November was June of this year. However, buyers are still out there because sales were better this month than in October.
Overall, November wasn’t a fabulous month for our real estate market, but it wasn’t utterly horrible either. The winter months usually bring less sales than the rest of the year simply because of the holidays, and folks are just plain busy. If your house is currently on the market, things should brighten up in the next few months in terms of sales. If you are currently in the home search, know that there are a lot of great homes to choose from right now, and even more will be coming on the market in the next few months.
For now, we’ll continue to work hard and push through to the end of 2010. Stay tuned for the year-end report next month!