SEPTEMBER 2016: Augusta County, Staunton & Waynesboro

09-16_snapshot09-16_sales09-16_inventory

W H A T ‘ S   H O T . . .

○ “…and the saga continues…” Who thought the inventory could get any lower? Well, it has. 15% lower than last year. Are you thinking about selling your home? Stop thinking…and start DOING. This is your moment.

○  The lack of supply has caused a slight INCREASE of 3.4% in Average Sales Price from August. Overall, 2016 has been more stable within in the $180k (low in Jan.) – $200k (high in July) range. An improvement from the past few years, which has been all over the board.

  • 30% of September’s transactions sold for 100% OR MORE of Listing Price.

○  Average Days on Market = 85 Days; Median Days on Market = 45 Days  (**A normal market is considered to be 90-120 days. Besides that blip in the spring when Average DOM jumped to over 170 Days, we have been in a normal market all year. )

  • About 40% of September’s Sales were available on the market for 30 DAYS or LESS.
    • 68.5% of those sales were on the market for 15 DAYS or LESS.

○  For a broader Virginia snapshot, Check out Commonwealth Daily’s 3rd Quarter Real Estate Report.

W H A T ‘ S   N O T . . .

○ Folks, I think we have started the seasonal Autumn sales decline. September 2016 (140 sales) saw 11% LESS closed transactions than August 2016 (158 sales). Don’t fret, September 2016 residential sales (140) compared to September 2015 (139) is basically a wash. Even with the decline in sales as we head into colder weather…

  • Sept 2016’s Year-To-Date sales slight INCREASE of 1.4% over September 2015 Year-To-Date sales.
  • Sept 2016’s 12 Month Running Total (1512) is a 0.3% INCREASE over last month’s.

○ The decrease in sales during the “slower” winter months could hamper attitudes towards putting your house on the market. Two items to digest…

  1. The historic low in available inventory provides less competition for those anxiously trying to sell their home. This is very good.
  2. The quality of buyers looking for homes in the winter are s-e-r-i-o-u-s. Meaning, their intention and motivation for looking is fo’ real. Spring and summer weekend house-hunting can turn into a hobby for some buyers. If people are fighting the wind and cold during the holiday season to view your property…they aren’t messin’ around.

 

As always, Questions…Comments? Call me. May the Force be with you.

*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 9.1.16 through 9.30.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.

 

It all started with a house… The Patrick House: 337 Chestnut Avenue

 

337_chestnut

It all started with a house…

In this specific case, the house located at 337 Chestnut Avenue. This American Folk Victorian is nestled into the base of a hill surrounded by mature trees and next to local landmarks such as Fishburne Military School, (est. 1879), the public library, the Downtown Historic District, and some of the oldest architecture in the city. Its neighborhood is one of Waynesboro’s first-born subdivisions, the Historic Tree Streets, (designated in 2002.) The Waynesboro Company, (chartered in 1889), was one of several residential developers to take advantage of the significant economical growth at the turn of the 20th century; due in part to the appearance of the Norfolk & Western Railroad, and the industrialization happening across the river in the newly incorporated town of Basic City. The W’boro Co. purchased the majority of their 251 acre tract from John G. Guthrie and wife, then known as the Callahan Farm in Jan 1890. The future residential development was advertised as the premier place to live. According to local historian, George Hawke, the company’s prospectus touted “abundant water, ‘untold mineral wealth’, fine schools & churches“.

The Waynesboro Company upheld their residential vision of elegance by establishing deed covenants. New owners were prohibited from building closer than fifteen feet to front lot lines, were encouraged to “plant shade trees and otherwise beautify” their surroundings. As a quality control measure, the new build must be valued at $1000 or more.

The Waynesboro Company Plat Map Image courtesy of Augusta County Courthouse, Staunton VA

The Waynesboro Company Plat Map, Deed Book 109 Pg 192
Augusta County Courthouse, Staunton VA

 

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The heart of a home…

An experienced contractor once told me that you can “judge the integrity of a home by its heart, its newel post.” Well, the Patrick House boasts not just one newel post, but TWO s-t-u-r-d-y newel posts which gracefully lead to the upstairs. Its present and past owners sure have had a lot of heart as well. The current owner, Mr. Robin Hersey bought the home in 1982 from the last of the three generations that resided there.

 

Waynesboro, VA in 1891

Waynesboro, VA in 1891 – Population: May 1st, 1890 – 1,000 / May 1st 1891 – 2,500

 

In April of 1890, Mrs. Hettie Caruthers Massie Patrick purchased 337 Chestnut Ave as a real estate investment from The Waynesboro Company. Conveniently, the counsel of said W’boro Co. was Mrs. Patrick’s esteemed son, William Patrick. (*Side Note – Mr. Patrick was deeply involved in the progression of Waynesboro. He was also a well-respected and prominent attorney practicing in near-by Staunton. He was a major contributor to the construction and design of the current Augusta County Courthouse, c. 1901. Mr. Patrick hired the same architect, T.J. Collins, to design his own Queen Anne Victorian residence in Staunton.)

 

1890, View from Walnut. 337 Chestnut Ave being built. Bowman, Curtis L. Waynesboro Days of Yore, Vol 2, pg 31.

1890, View from Walnut.
337 Chestnut Ave under construction.
Bowman, Curtis L. Waynesboro Days of Yore, Vol 2, pg 31.

 

Mrs. H. C. Massie Patrick was born in 1823, the daughter of Nathaniel Massie and Mary Susan Woods Massie in Waynesboro, Va. Her father was a successful merchant and Virginia house delegate prior to the Civil War. The Massie’s were some of Waynesboro’s earliest “movers & shakers” . Miss Hettie lived in Waynesboro until marrying Maj. William Patrick.

Maj. Wm Patrick (1822-Sept 3, 1862)

Maj. Wm Patrick
(1822-Sept 3, 1862)

Maj. William Patrick was the second son in the equally pedigreed Patrick family. Maj. Wm Patrick’s lineage can be traced back to his Scotch-Irish immigrant descendants who purchased land from Robert Turk in the mid-1700’s. The Patrick homestead, Locust Isle, is located a few miles north of W’boro along Rockfish Rd. This is where Hettie lived the majority of her adult life. Maj. Patrick, then a Captain, led Company E out of Waynesboro as the war began but was wounded while leading the charge as a Major of the 17th Virginia Cavalry. Tragically, he was killed at the Second Battle of Manassas in Sept. 1862.

He fell in the attack while setting an example of gallantry to his men well worthy of imitation.” [Battle of Second Manassas: Official report of Lieut. General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson]

“…He lived long enough to witness the triumph of our arms and expired thus in the arms of victory. The sacrifice was noble, but the loss to us irreparable.” [J .E. B. Stuart]

“…I was greatly attached to William, not only as a brother in law, but as an old friend of my childhood & early school days – There were few I had a higher respect of regard for personally & none I shall miss more- no more highminded honorable gentleman, and no braver truer spirit fought and fell on the sacred soil of Manassas…” [Letter from Hettie’s brother, N. H. Massie dated Sept. 9, 1862]

Letter from N.H. Massie, Hettie’s brother. (Original of this digital image is housed in: Special Collections, Univ. of Virginia, Ch’ville, VA 22904-4110)

 

Though Maj. Wm Patrick’s service and ultimate sacrifice brought honor to the family, Mrs. Patrick was left a widow to raise her five children alone. The story of his death was their infant daughter, Nannie’s cradle song. Nannie “grew up strong and self-reliant, gracious and vivacious in her manner and attractive in her person“, attributed to her mother, Hettie’s “strong personality“. Hettie became the family matriarch, and along with her younger & physically limited brother-in-law, James, was responsible for keeping Locust Isle running during the harsh Reconstruction years after the Civil War. Maj. Patrick had incurred considerable debt during his time in service, and those creditors came ‘a calling soon after the war’s end. Mrs. Patrick was forced to sell any holdings her dearly departed husband had in exchange for keeping the family homestead.

 

Locust Isle FOR RENT Staunton Spectator: Aug 9th, 1870.

Patrick Homestead, Locust Isle FOR RENT
Staunton Spectator: Aug 9th, 1870.

 

Mrs. H. C. Patrick moved back to Waynesboro and officially lived in 337 Chestnut Ave the Fall of 1907.  (She acquired neighboring lots 7 & 8 from the heirs of Dr. John S. Myers at this time.) She lived there with her son, Charles M. Patrick, her widowed daughter, Nannie M. Arbuckle, and her granddaughter, Marian “May” D. Arbuckle. Even though the family had lived out in the country previously, they had identified as townsfolk. They regularly attended W’boro’s First Presbyterian Church, (located in the old Valley News-Virginian building prior to moving to its current location on Wayne Ave in 1911), and the majority of their friends lived in town.

 

A View from across the River, 1907-1911. Tree Street district is upper third of image.

A View from across the River, 1907-1911. Tree Street District is upper third of image. (Bowman, Curtis L. Waynesboro Days of Yore, Vol 1)

 

The transition to the city was almost seamless except for Charles missing his horses. Even though he was still managing the Locust Isle farm regularly, he missed having his furry companions close-by. In 1910, he had the “stable” built out back for his own horse and an extra for the ladies to use when needed. (The present small garage facing the alley.) Miss May mentions in her 1977 interview that they never would have purchased their first car, if her Uncle Charlie’s last horse hadn’t died. (In case you are interested – According to Miss May, “Doc Smith, the dentist” was the first Waynesborian to own an automobile.)

In April 1910, Mrs. Hettie C.M. Patrick passed away.  She was described as being “a woman of queenly presence, fine, gentle, and motherly, filling all of the stations of life with dignity and grace.” (*Mental Note: Leave this description with family member for inclusion in my own obituary.) Charles and Nannie inherited both Locust Isle and the home on Chestnut. Miss May spent much of her time taking care of her often ill mother. After Nannie’s passing in 1921, Miss May took care of her Uncle Charles, who left this earth in 1930.

 

the-waltons_homecoming_

At some point the house was separated into two apartments with Miss May renting out one side to D. K. Coolidge. (The only present evidence of this division is the “second” door on the front porch.) Miss May spent her days as a contributing member of First Presbyterian Church, the Library Board in the early 1900’s, as well as on the Hospital Board in the 1940’s. She was close with many neighbors on her street, specifically mentioning Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Guy Hamilton as her “great friends”. In her 1978 interview, she mentioned their namesakes were used in naming the popular Baldwin Sisters from the 1970’s hit, The Waltons. The director of The Homecoming: A Walton’s Christmas special was Fielder Cook. He visited W’boro as a youth, and as an adult he would visit Miss May.

337 Chestnut is available for purchase, offered at $249,900…The home has four large bedrooms & two and a half baths. Original craftsmanship can be seen and felt throughout. The home has an updated kitchen, featuring a Thermador six-burner gas range and glass fronted maple cabinets. Brand NEW Dual-zoned Heating & Air Conditioning, Hot Water Heater, and replaced water line from to property to street. If you wish to continue this home’s early 20th century legacy of hosting afternoon Euchre card games, please give me a jingle.

Appropriately, I leave you with Miss May’s personal sentiments regarding her home…

 

“Well, I’ll tell you, houses that were built when this one was built, were built well. I wouldn’t trade my old house for these new things that warp before you get into ’em.”

– Miss Marian “May” Dabney Arbuckle, (1886-1981) , [March 9th, 1978 Interview, Oral Histories of Waynesboro, Vol 1.]

 

 

K A T H E R I N E  M c N I C H O L A S,    REALTOR®

540.256.2258

katheartshomes@outlook.com

STACKED_Westhills_transparent_gold copy



AUGUST 2016: Augusta County, Staunton & Waynesboro

08-16_snapshot08-16_inventory08-16_sales

W H A T ‘ S   H O T . . .

○ We are still historically LOW-LOW-LOW with existing inventory. This has been great for sellers with appropriately priced listings under $300,000. For buyers, not so much…(see below.)

○  Residential Loan Interest rates are still LOW-LOW-LOW as well. (Click here for more on Kiplinger’s report on their predicted rate increase in December.)

○ The percentage of Sale Price to List Price has increased to 97.7% in August 2016. (**This percentage was at its lowest in the Winter of 2012 at 92%; and hovered around the 94%-95% range for last couple of years.)

  • 39% of August’s transactions sold for 100% OR MORE of Listing Price

○ August 2016 (158 sales) saw 8 more closed transactions than July 2016 (150 sales). August 2016 residential sales were 10.5% higher than last year’s August. (Commonwealth Daily has reported a 12.5% increase in Virginia’s 2016 August vs. 2015 August sales. This article attributes it to an inventory increase…which we didn’t see here in the Valley.)

  • Year-To-Date sales slight INCREASE of 1.3% over August 2015 Year-To-Date sales.
  • August 2016 saw the same 1.3% INCREASE in the 12 Month Running Total of Sales over last month.

○  Average Days on Market = 82 Days; Median Days on Market = 50 Days  (**A normal market is considered to be 90-120 days. Besides that blip in the spring when Average DOM jumped to over 170 Days, we have been in a normal market all year. )

  • 40% of August’s Sales were available on the market for 30 DAYS or LESS.
    • 63% of those sales were on the market for 10 DAYS or LESS

 

W H A T ‘ S   N O T . . .

○ Inventory is LOW-LOW-LOW. Appropriately priced listings are not lasting long. Buyers should be working as a team with their real estate professional. That means, you may need to go see homes at inconvenient times. Point being…if you think a home may be “the one”, make the effort to get in there before it slips away. With the Fall season right around the corner, the “buyer competition” will probably slow down, but if inventory stays at this historical low, one will still need to move faster than usual.

Average Sales Price DECREASE…August 2016’s Average Sales Price was $184,666…

  • …an 8% DECREASE when compared to July 2016, ($200,725).
  • …a 5.5% DECREASE when compared to August 2015 ($195,498).

Tootles.

*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 8.1.16 through 8.31.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.

 

JULY 2016: Augusta County, Staunton & Waynesboro

BICENTENNIAL babies, those born in the Year of the Dragon…REPRESENT! July 2016 may not have been a record month in the history of real estate…but by-goodness, I turned 40, and I’m pumped. Here’s to another 40 years! Okay, enough about me, scroll below for your July 2016 real estate monthly snapshot…07-16_snapshot07-16_inventory07-16_sales

W H A T ‘ S   H O T . . .

○ July saw no increase in sold transactions, but we did see an increase in Market Volume ( INCREASE of $1.2 million), thus an INCREASE in Average Sales Prices.

  • Average Sales Price INCREASE – July’s Average Sales Price, $200,725; compared to June’s $192,600.
  • 43% of July’s Sales sold for 99% OR MORE of their Listing Price.
  • Hooray for the $350k – $399k price range market. They officially nudged their way out of the 3% pie slice. They represented 6% of sold properties in July.

○  Average Days on Market = 94 Days; Median Days on Market = 47 Days

  • Close to 50% of the closed transactions in July were on the market for 45 DAYS OR LESS.

W H A T ‘ S   N O T . . .

○ Compared to last year: July 2015, (160 sales) had 10 more sales than July 2016, (150). You can see from the visual, that 2015 had a rocky and unpredictable spring season, with an apex in July. This year, Spring 2016 was more consistent. July 2016’s YTD sales, (847) is a negligible 7 sales away from July’s 2015’s YTD sales, (854).

○ Another item of note that may have affected our local market, was the school calendar switch-a-roo. All of the schools ’round here began the first week of August. Yes, that makes for busy-busy summer vacation & obligation cramming within the shortened break. It also means school supply shopping in July…it’s not right, ya’ll!

*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 7.1.16 through 7.31.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.

 

JUNE 2016: Augusta County, Staunton & Waynesboro

It’s TOO DARN HOT and HUMID to think of anything witty at the moment. Please, enjoy the tantalizing charts and info below, as I am melting in the corner with an iced coffee…

06.16_SNAPSHOT06.16_INVENTORY06.16_SALES

W H A T ‘ S   H O T . . .

○ DEJA- VU –  Housing inventory is STILL historically low, yet the amount of closed transactions are increasing, making a pretty curve for the chart.

  • Compared to last month: June 2016 Sales (150) is an 6% INCREASE from May 2016 Sales (141)
  • Average Sales Price slight increase – June 2016 Average Sales Price, $192,600 compared to last month’s, $191,935.

○  Averaliljonge Days on Market = 97 Days; Median Days on Market = 47 Days……YEH-AH! (Said in best Lil’ Jon’s voice.)

  •           •  Close to 40% of the closed transactions in June were on the market for 30 DAYS OR LESS.
  •           •  Of those 40% homes sold, 41% sold at 100% or more of their List Price.

○ LAND SALES  are up and up, and away – As mentioned in a previous post, I was wondering how this low-inventory was going to affect the new construction in our market. I will let the bars speak for itself.LandSales_todate_7.13.16

 

○  ALL THE SINGLE LADIES, all the single ladies…” Per a recent article in REALTOR Mag, Single female homebuyers are the second largest home buying group, representing 18% of the whole, (married couples come in first at 54%.)  Discover how these single women are changing the home buying market, Read RISMedia’s Housecall article HERE.

W H A T ‘ S   N O T . . .

○  Higher priced inventory – Homes priced above $400,000 are at a standstill in our neck of the woods. On a positive note, if you are a buyer looking in this price range, there some beautiful homes to be had with little “other buyer” competition.

○ Compared to last year: June 2015 had 5 more sales than June 2016. You can see from the visual, that 2015 had a rocky and unpredictable spring season, with a skyrocket in June. This year, Spring 2016 was more consistent. We are 3 sales away from 2015’s YTD sales. Let’s see where June’s 235 pending sales places us in July.

Ciao.

*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 6.1.16 through 6.30.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.

 

MAY 2016: Augusta County, Staunton & Waynesboro

April showers bring May flowersmore showers?” The sky was the only thing crying ALL last month. Check out May’s sunny residential sales activity below…05.16_SNAPSHOT05.16_INVENTORY05.16_SALES

W H A T ‘ S   H O T . . .

○ DEJA- VU –  Housing inventory is STILL historically low, yet the amount of closed transactions are increasing.

  • Year over Year: May 2016 Sales (141) is a 12% INCREASE from May 2015 sales (126)
  • Compared to last month: May 2016 Sales (141) is an 8% INCREASE from April 2016 Sales (130)

○  Average Sales Price INCREASE – Year over Year: May 2016 Average Sales Price ($197,020) is 22% higher than May 2015 ($161,452).

○ The $200,000 – $249,999 represented the majority of sales in May, being 27% of the sold inventory…Kicking out the ever faithful lower priced brackets for the first time this year.

○  Average Days on Market – 108 Days; This number doesn’t look very appetizing for a home owner/seller. Stale inventory sales are affecting this number dramatically. Let’s take a different perspective…

  • 40% of the closed transactions in May were on the markBlueRidgeMansions_6.28.16_edited-1et for 30 DAYS OR LESS
    • Of those 40% homes sold, over half of them (60%) sold at 100% of their List Price.
    • Of those 40% homes sold, a little less than half (46%) were on the market for 10 DAYS or LESS.

○  Join me at the newly renovated Wayne Theatre this Tuesday evening, June 28th at 7:00p, to enjoy an historical lecture titled, “Mansions of the Blue Ridge: Swannanoa and Royal Orchard“. I have been salivating at the mouth for months.

 

W H A T ‘ S   N O T . . .

○  Higher priced inventory – Homes priced above $400,000 are at a standstill in our neck of the woods. On a positive note, if you are a buyer looking in this price range, there some beautiful homes to be had with little “other buyer” competition.

○ Year-to-Date Sales – Slightly behind on Total Year-to-Date sales. May 2016 YTD sales (533), is a DECREASE of 1.1% from May 2015 YTD sales (539). (*With that said, the 12 month running total is a marginable INCREASE of 1.2% from last month.)

Tootles.

*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 5.1.16 through 5.31.16. All information is believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed.

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.