For the past few months, we’ve been reporting that the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market is on the verge of some positive movement. In July, we saw that most of the June contracts hadn’t closed yet, and that sales year-over-year were down 6%. Well, the August numbers are in, and this month’s sales were up, and the year-to-date sales significantly increased as well, bringing that -6% to -2%. (The gap is closing!) Lets take a look at this month’s stats below.
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Sales were up this month from last by 2.6%, and average days on market also improved from 230 days in July to 178 days in August. Average sales price was down 10%, but median sales price remained the same. For a broader look, the year-to-date change in sales from 2010 to 2011 is -2.1% (remember, last month’s year-to-date sales had been down 6%). Prices this year are down about 5% from last year, and home values this year compared to 2010 are down 7.3%. Folks are buying larger homes this year, but with a decrease in prices, they are still getting more “bang for their buck.” The buyer’s market continues… and probably will for some time.
Above is a simple chart showing the number of sales as they occurred from month-to-month in 2011. As is typical, sales have increased during the spring and summer months, and we’ll likely see a decrease in sales as fall and winter set in.
Contracts increased by one, or 1.2% in August compared to July, which is great, but contracts year-over-year increased by 18.39%! This is a major positive for our local real estate market. More contracts lead to more sales. The list prices for the homes that went under contract this month are higher than they were last month, but year-to-date, they are down (-6.14% average list price, -2.76% median list price). Overall, homes are sitting on the market longer, too, this year.
The above chart shows the contract activity for this year, with June set far above the rest at 104 contracts. Those contracts are turning into sales, which bodes well for our local economy! July and August both showed relatively strong contract months, and we look forward to seeing most of those close in the next couple of months to come.
We’re seeing positive changes in the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market, and suspect that more will come.
Note to buyers: Fall is still a great time to buy! You could be in a new home by the time the holiday season arrives, there are lots of homes to choose from, and interest rates are still very low.