A seller’s market
Local realtors agree time is now to put homes up for sale
After a strong start in January, home sales have leveled off in Shenandoah County, while trends remain the same as last year in Warren County, according to some local real estate agents.
According to data from Metropolitan Regional Information Statistics, 24 housing units were sold in January at an average price of $193,036. Last year, 38 units were sold at an average of $141,953, thus causing a 36.8 percent decrease in units but a 35.9 percent increase in average price. The median price of houses also rose 16.51 percent, from $131,750 to $153,500.
Mike Beasley, of ERA Beasley Realty in Woodstock, said from the beginning of the year to March, the number of houses under contract was 92. Beasley said while January started strong, February chilled the market.
“The year started out with a pretty big bang, just really good activity,” Beasley said. “The weather really kind of slowed us down and put things off quite a bit, but I’m expecting to see a lot of activity to build up going into the spring and the first part of the summer.”
Beasley said one of the challenges facing home sales in the county is a lack of inventory.
“To me it looks like we’re on the short side of housing,” Beasley said. “Part of it is hard to determine because of the weather we’ve had, but normally [we] see more inventory coming in this time of year.”
Beasley added, “It might be weather related … people just kind of hunker down and hang back with this cold, cold weather and snow and stuff … a lot of folks representing properties want to hold off until the weather starts to lighten up.”
Housing market activity has been more predominant in areas north of Edinburg to Strasburg, while a little slower south in the New Market area, Beasley said.
According to the data, 42 houses were sold in January at an average price of $259,146. The amount of houses sold constituted no increase over last year, while the average price rose 32.1 percent, from $196,124. The median price of housing units sold rose 10.7 percent, from $167,450 in 2014 to $185,500.
Beth Waller, of Team Waller Real Estate Weichert Realtors in Front Royal, said from the beginning of the year to March 82 units were under contract and 265 were listed.
“Supply and demand have been in full force in Warren,” Waller said.
“The market has been fantastic for sellers, because there’s just not much housing in the price range for first-home buyers,” Waller said. “Interest rates are low, so first-home buyers are also looking at getting more expensive homes than they might have in the past few years.”
Waller said the lack of inventory in Warren has been a blessing for those looking to sell their homes.
“I have a number of buyers who are ready to put a home under contract, but there just aren’t that many to be found,” Waller said. “So if you’re looking to sell, I would implore you to call your realtor.”
Waller said she has been seeing a lot of home buying activity in the eastern parts of the county and she anticipates there will be a larger demand for people wanting to purchase second homes in the area than years past.
Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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