Okay, we admit it. Its been a while since we’ve posted a market report. We have been keeping an eye on the current trends, but simply haven’t reported on them because we’re busy… and that is a good thing! We have re-committed to reporting the facts to our faithful readers, though, so from now on, keep an eye on Harrisonblog for more data updates!
Now lets get to it.
2011 has been interesting, to say the least. Compared to March last year, we’ve seen an increase in the number of sales, a decrease in new listings, and a huge increase (141%) in the number of pending sales that go to closing (AKA sales success). We’ve also seen a decrease in average price per square foot, which we’ll look at below. This is a key indicator in home value, so with a decrease, values are dropping in our area, but (yes, BUT) we haven’t seen a drop in value like some other areas of the country.
For lack of a better analogy… If you think of it like a balloon, in Harrisonburg, the market got over-inflated and is slowly letting air out and getting back to “normal.” In other areas (like Phoenix), the market got super over-inflated and popped. At least our balloon is still intact, right?
Now, lets take a look at March 2011 and the first quarter of the year.
As I mentioned above, we see an increase of 32% in sales compared to last March. We’re also seeing a significant decrease in prices, though, with average selling price dropping by almost 29% and median selling price dropping by almost 20%. Folks are buying smaller homes this year, and those homes are sitting on the market for about the same amount of time as last year at this time. Average price per square foot (that key indicator of home values) has dropped over last year by 10.8%.
A look at the bigger picture — year-to-date data — gives us a better idea of how the market is doing compared to last year. Overall, sales are down by 4.14%. Sales prices are down, the number of homes that actually sell is down, the size of home that folks are buying is down, and average price per square foot (value) is down. Homes are also sitting on the market for a longer period of time.
What can we make of these numbers? Well, it is still a good time for buyers. Interest rates are still relatively low, and they can get more house for their money these days. Sellers, take heart. With sales up in March, chances are getting better that your house will sell. It takes an aggressive marketing plan and strategic pricing to get it sold, which is where our team comes in (shameless plug).
Looking for data on a specific price range? In March, only one home sold over $400k. The most popular price range in the Harrisonburg area is from $100k – $200k, but the homes that sell the quickest are under $100k. (I’m not including that one home in the $400k range for days on market because that listing was likely entered in the MLS for comparative purposes only.)
If you have any questions about this market report, please comment below or contact us. We’d be happy to help out in any way that we can!