APRIL 2016: Augusta County, Staunton & Waynesboro

IMG_0817 (1)On April 21st, I received a text from my husband using the acronym “O.M.G.”. (The FIRST and ONLY time I have EVER heard him say that. Which, I guess is something humorous from something so tragic.) Purple Rain was my very first cassette tape, (see to the left. “Yes”, that is the 1984 original, and “YES”, I still have a tape player in my car, DON’T JUDGE.)  With that said, my post this month has been visually adjusted with Prince on my mind, (I still get weepy thinking about it.)  On a similar note, has anyone else made the connection that the sky over Virginia has been crying ever since? Coincidence? I think not. Luckily, all of this rain has not slowed down the real estate market in our area. LET’S GO CRAZY with charts and stats below…

04.16_SNAPSHOT

04.16_INVENTORY

04.16_SALES

W H A T ‘ S   H O T . . .

○ DEJA- VU –  Inventory is waaaay-doooowwwwnnn. “How low is it?”, you may ask? Yada, yada, yada. You all have heard this from me before, in last month’s update. The low inventory is affecting the average Days on Market for properties sold in April. April’s average DOM was a pretty hefty number, 180 days. Again, this seems disheartening at first…but take a second look, and notice the MEDIAN is 74 days. Now, that looks much more attractive! Motivated buyers have limited choices when it comes to existing inventory…and they better act quickly if they see something new & attractive pop up on the Multiple Listing Service. From April’s sold transactions – those newly listed homes in March and April were scooped up in 10 days on average! The speed of light. I am certainly not saying we are out of the woods and in a “sellers’ market”, but it may be a good idea to read these tips if you are an active buyer.

○ I said it last month, and I will say it again, “Did I mention its a GREAT time to list your house?” (Especially if it fits in the $100k – $250k hot pocket.)

○  Average Sales Price INCREASE –

  • Year over Year: April 2016 Average Sales Price is 8.9% higher than April 2015.
  • Compared to last Month: April 2016 Average Sales Price is 5.5% higher than March 2016.

○  Monthly Closed Transactions INCREASE –

  • Year over Year: April 2016 Sales (130) is a 66.7% INCREASE from April 2015 sales (78)
  • Compared to last month: April 2016 Sales (130) is a 28.7% INCREASE from March 2016 Sales (101)
  • For a broader view of our beautiful state of Virginia’s real estate market,  CLICK HERE for a First Quarter commentary from Commonwealth Daily.

W H A T ‘ S   N O T . . .

○  The lack of inventory. With that said, I have noticed quite an addition of building lots coming back on the market. Many were withdrawn during the economic recession. It is good to see their fresh and glistening, grassy faces again. Let’s see how they move in the near future. I love the sound of power-tools and the sweet smell of cut wood in the morning. (Add to that, freshly sanded drywall and paint as well.)

○ Year-to-Date Sales – Even though we noted a significant INCREASE of 66.7% with comparison to April of last year; We are still slightly behind on our Total Year-to-Date sales. April 2016 YTD sales (389), is a DECREASE of 5.8% from April 2015 YTD sales (413). (*With that said, the 12 month running total is on the “up-and-up” with a 3.7% INCREASE from last month.)

○ The passing of the one and only, irreplaceable, the “Beautiful One”, Prince. Ugh.

I will leave you with WIRED Magazine’s compilation of Prince’s best videos available on YouTube, (link below.) His 2004 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is my fav. INCREDIBLE!)

The Best Prince Videos Available Online – WIRED Online

 

*This report was prepared by and for the use of Westhills Ltd. REALTORS. It is not to be copied in whole or in part without explicit permission of Katherine McNicholas.

**All data based on information from the Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®, Inc. or Multiple Listing Service for the period 4.1.16 through 4.30.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.

MARCH 2016: Augusta County, Staunton, & Waynesboro

SPRINGTIME FINALLY SPRANG!…(is that a word?) The month of March kept us on our toes regarding real estate transactions, as well as what to wear in  the Shenandoah’s wishy-washy weather! Per usual, last month was a mixed bag, click here for the recap.  In the real estate world, it was getting much, much warmer…(commentary after the awesome charts.)

Monthly_Snapshot_032016

03.16_MKT_INVENTORY03.16_Monthly_SALES_Charts

W H A T ‘ S   H O T . . .
○ DEJA- VU –  Inventory is waaaay-doooowwwwnnn. “How low is it?”, you may ask? Inventory is at a 7 year low and 55% lower than a year ago. I think it is so low, that buyers are being forced to take second and third looks at properties they may have easily walked by before. I believe motivated buyers are then doing more than just taking more looks, they are PURCHASING. Remember the huge jump in average Days on Market in the chart above. Some of these homes have been on the market for literally years, (1312 days to be more precise.) *A normal market is considered to be 90-120 days, which we have been in since April 2015.  In this case, we are slowly-but-surely appropriately price-adjusting properties, as well as digesting and ridding our market of the 2014 influx of recession side-effects, (aka foreclosures, short-sales, etc.)

As mentioned in last month’s snapshot, here.  Having low inventory is not a bad thing. Overall, Less inventory means a healthier market; higher Average Sales Prices and lower Days on the Market. Classic example of Supply & Demand, ya’ll!

○  Monthly Closed Transactions Increase –

  • Year over Year: March 2016 Sales (101) is a 20.3% INCREASE from March 2015 sales (84)
  • Year -to- Date: March 2016 YTD (259) has INCREASED 5.7% over March 2015 YTD (245)
  • Compared to last month: March 2016 Sales (101) is a 26% INCREASE from February 2016 Sales (80)

○ Last month, I mentioned larger Ranch style homes as the HOT ITEM. I have opened-up this criteria to include any clean home that’s appropriately priced, with a price range of $100k – $300k. Ha!

○ By the way, did I mention its a GREAT time to list your house?

 

W H A T ‘ S   N O T . . .
○  DEJA – VU -Inventory is waaaay-doooowwwwnnn. I know, I just said it wasn’t a bad thing above…BUT if you have money in your pocket and ready to spend some major dough on the house of your dreams, not having a selection to choose from can be very frustrating! (Listen, it happens to me all of the time. When I finally get some alone time AND some chump change, it seems my favorite stores never have anything of interest.) Here’s to the continuation of Spring’s activity!

○  Average Sales Price DECREASE –

  • We noticed a 10.7% increase in Ave. Sales Price in February from January. Unfortunately, March sales showed a 2.1% DECREASE when compared to February. (This decrease could be another reflection of stale inventory price-adjustment.)
  • On a positive note, March 2016 ASP is still 3.5% higher than March 2015 ASP.
  • *Take note, the average sales price has seller concessions included. 53% of March closed transactions included seller paid concessions. (These concessions averaged to $4625 per transaction.)

○  2014’s Lender underwriting “tighten-up” improvements are still affecting loan approval and closing deadlines. This past fall’s new adjustments to closing procedures has also provided some delays and “hiccups” in the process. COMMUNICATION between all parties is key, as well as lots of PATIENCE, young padawans.

  • According to Realtor Magazine, the average days to close is at 45 days. If you are desiring a shorter closing time, the best thing to do is be PREPARED. If financing is needed, go speak to lenders PRIOR to making an offer to purchase. In fact…go speak to lenders PRIOR to even looking. That way, all needed paperwork can be provided, reviewed, and one can get “pre-Approved”. Always a good idea to be educated on your own finances. The “pre-approval” doc can also be submitted with any future offers. I great way to display your seriousness in purchasing, as well as increasing the sellers’ confidence in accepting your offer.

 

*This report was prepared by and for the use of Westhills Ltd. REALTORS. It is not to be copied in whole or in part without explicit permission of Katherine McNicholas.

**All data based on information from the Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®, Inc. or Multiple Listing Service for the period 3.1.16 through 3.31.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.

FEBRUARY 2016: Augusta County, Staunton, & Waynesboro

 

Oh February! A time when we as Virginians wonder why we did not choose to reside just an itty-bitty-bit more south. Here is a link to the weather recap of winter’s “last hurrah” month. As we were worrying about our early-budding weeping cherries, the local real estate market was buzzing along, prepping for early springtime action…

02.16_SNAPSHOT

02.16_Monthly_Inventory_Charts

02.16_Monthly_SALES_Charts

W H A T ‘ S   H O T . . .
○  Inventory is waaaay-doooowwwwnnn. Guess what? That’s not a bad thing. In this case, we are slowly-but-surely digesting and ridding our market of the 2014 influx of recession side-effects, (aka foreclosures, short-sales, etc.) Less inventory means a healthier market; higher Average Sales Prices and lower Days on the Market. Classic example of Supply & Demand, ya’ll!

○  Speaking of “Foreclosures, Short-sales, and Bank-owned, OH MY“; our local foreclosure market is 1.6% of active inventory. The lowest it has been in years! (In the past, this percentage has fluctuated between 14-18%.) REO’s (“Real Estate Owned” or “Bank Owned Foreclosure”) made up 20.5% of Jan. 2015’s sales…but have steadily decreased to only 8.8% YTD sales. Woohoo! Let’s hope folks are getting steady on their feet again.

○  Average Sales Price increases 10.7% from Feb 2015. SAY WHAT?! Amazing. **This does NOT account for seller paid concessions. Seller paid closing costs have become quite consistent in the past several years, represented in 45-50% of sales. 46% of Feb ’16 sales had seller paid concessions, averaging at $4719.

○  Days on Market – We are holding steady within a “normal market” (90-120 days) in February with an average of 96 days, and a median of 93 days.

○ By the way, did I mention larger Ranch homes, (2000< sqft) with double garages, listed under $200k are this area’s HOT ITEM. Well, I just did…H-O-T, I said it again.

 W H A T ‘ S   N O T . . .
○  Inventory is waaaay-doooowwwwnnn. I know, I just said it wasn’t a bad thing above…BUT if you have money in your pocket and ready to spend some major dough on the house of your dreams, not having a selection to choose from can be very frustrating! (Listen, it happens to me all of the time. When I finally get some alone time AND some chump change, it seems my favorite stores never have anything of interest.) Here’s to Spring and the housing excitement & activity that follows.

○  2014’s Lender underwriting “tighten-up” improvements are still affecting loan approval and closing deadlines. This past fall’s new adjustments to closing procedures has also provided some delays and “hiccups” in the process. COMMUNICATION between all parties is key, as well as lots of PATIENCE, young padawans.

 

*This report was prepared by and for the use of Westhills Ltd. REALTORS. It is not to be copied in whole or in part without explicit permission of Katherine McNicholas.

**All data based on information from the Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®, Inc. or Multiple Listing Service for the period 2.1.16 through 2.29.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.