Winchester, Virginia is the last town of any size in the northern most tip of Virginia. It is a historian's dream come true because of the vast early American, Revolutionary War and Civil War history.
Winchester has a small population of 26,322 +-. The county, which surrounds the city on all sides, has a population of 78,305 +-. The last recorded number of homes in the city of Winchester tallied 10,587 of which 10,001 were inhabited. Of that number, 54% of the homes are rentals. Only 46% of occupied city homes are owner occupied.
This number may reflect the high number of properties that have gone into short sale in the past three years, but market statistics may point to an additional source. During the last quarter, October 2011-December 2011, fifty-nine homes were closed within the city limits. Of those sales, 16 properties were foreclosures and only 4 were short sales. That means 30% of all properties sold were distressed properties. Even though foreclosures have been on the decline throughout much of the country, there is still a substantial inventory in the Winchester/Frederick County area that needs to be liquidated.
The Winchester/Frederick County economy is showing signs of life with lower than the national average unemployment and with a number new businesses moving into the area. The inventory of distressed properties are partly shadow inventory making their way to the market along with new short sales coming on the market. Another portion of the coming inventory is made up of those properties that have been in some stage of default or distress since early summer 2011.
Winchester/Frederick County has been sited as one of the top 10 places for investors. The real estate market in this area is ripe for investors to purchase high quality homes at discount prices. At 30% of the available listings, discounted properties are the fastest growing market segment in the market area.