Fall is such an invigorating time in the Shenandoah Valley. There are always an abundance of fun events happening — apple festivals, halloween parties, pie baking contests, craft fairs — and the overall mood in the area is pleasant. The local real estate market has felt equally as pleasant this year, showing an increase in sales (for the 8th time over the past 12 months), stable home values, and another solid month for contracts.
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Contracts may have dropped from last month, but the fact that contracts are above the sales mark shows us that sales will continue to occur. When contracts are written, the typical lifetime of those contracts is about 2-3 months, so there is a bit of lag time. We like to see contracts running higher than sales, because it shows us the promise of sales to come!
712 residential properties have sold so far this year, which is 9.0% better than last year at this time. Sellers are not only selling in a slightly easier market these days, but they are also getting 0.4% closer to their final asking price than last year, too. (When you’re talking about a high-end home, that can mean several thousand dollars!) It is still very much a buyers market, though, because of the high number of homes currently on the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County real estate market. Buyers simply have a wide variety of homes to choose from, so they can take their time in writing offers; thus, the 5.3% increase in days on market.
Contracts did drop from September to October (by just 7), but year-to-date, contracts are up by 11.1%, which bodes well for sales to come in the next few months. Of homes that have gone under contract this year, they are larger in size than last year, and actually have been on the market for 3 less days.
Yet again, contracts are solid. We just had the best October for contracts in the past three years (as with August and September of this year).
Prices have wavered a bit over the past year, as well as the sold/list percentage (meaning the percentage of money sellers get from the sale compared to their list price… the higher the percentage, the closer the seller to his/her asking price), but overall, 2012 has been a fairly stable year for sales prices in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
There are just two more months left in 2012, and though this hasn’t been the most heartwarming year for the local real estate market, things have improved, and we look forward to seeing what the rest of this year brings, and even more so how 2013 will fare.
Stay tuned for more Market Trends… right here on Harrisonblog.