Each time I run these reports, I want to be able to post about a major increase in sales, a sudden uptick in home values, and properties “flying off the lot,” so to speak. If ever there will be a time, this is not it, unfortunately. There are some positive changes taking place in our local real estate market, but for the time being, we just have to wait a bit longer to see the really good numbers.
April 2011 showed a slight (3.75%) decrease in the number of sales compared to the same month last year. Average sales price was also down, by almost 9%. Home buyers got more “bang for their buck” this April, too, spending just $97.76 per square foot, which is a decrease of 10.37% compared to last April. Price per square foot was also down slightly from a month ago (March 2011). It took an average of 26.40% longer for homes to sell this April compared to last.
Is this ALL just doom and gloom? Not necessarily.
Though this particular report doesn’t show it, we have seen a major increase in pending sales (AKA listings that have gone under contract). Our brokerage, Kline May Realty, has also seen a positive swing in the number of showings scheduled — more on that later. These two stats alone are a preview of what is to come: more sales!
A look at year-to-date numbers will give us a better idea of how the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market is faring overall.
Sales are down this year through April by almost 5%, and sales prices are down by over 11%. The chance of listing a home and selling it is now 93.77%. Last year at this time, it was 95.62%. And the key factor in determining home values — average price per square foot — has also decreased, by 8.28%. If you’ll recall, the March 2011 Market Report showed a decrease in home values by 6.74%. Hopefully with the multitude of pending sales, that number will increase, but only time will tell. (This number is a good indicator of home values because it shows us what buyers are willing to pay for any particular piece of property.)
Take a look at the last two columns in the chart above. It shows the abundance of homes on the market, both in April alone and for the past 12 months. Most homes sell in the $100k – $300k range because there are that many properties to choose from! Homes sit on the market for such a long period of time because buyers can be picky. With hundreds of homes to sort through, it really can come down to the most minute thing for a buyer — like the color of the carpet, how the home smells, the age of the roof, whether or not the yard is level enough. They can take their time and wait for that “perfect” place, so often times they do. However, homes are selling (55% are selling in the $100k – $200k range). Those that sell the quickest are under $100k.
We look forward to seeing what the rest of Spring and Summer brings in our local market. From the looks of it, we should be able to report some more positive numbers soon!
Itching to check out past market reports and other market trends? They’re just waiting for you…