Analysis of the Central Virginia Area Housing Market - Second Quarter 2009

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Commonwealth

Well, this report was released a few weeks ago, I thought I'd post it, it is still pretty interesting.  I've included the ENTIRE 21-page report here, and the 2-page synopsis here.  The report is prepared by George Mason University, and contains some interesting information, like:

  • Sales increased 63% between the 1Q and 2Q of 2009, a larger-than-average Spring "bump."
  • 48% - almost HALF! - of the sales in the Richmond metropolitan region for 2Q 2009 were under $200,000, compared to 37% of sales in 2Q 2008.
  • Homes under $200,000 spent an average of 73 days on market ("DOM"), compared to 100 DOM for homes priced $400,000 or more.
  • In the Richmond Metropolitan area, sales were down 11% in 2Q 2009 compared to 2Q 2008, but that was the smallest sales decline in the past three quarters.

Most of the data seems to confirm what we real estate agents are seeing every day - the buyers out there are predominantly first-time home buyers, typically buying in the starter home price range.  Other buyers are taking their time and being EXTREMELY picky.

I suspect the 14% price decline 2Q 2009 over 2Q 2008 can probably be attributed to the larger-than-average number of distressed sales - short sales and foreclosures.  Right now, bargain hunters with cash can pick up amazing deals, particularly in the foreclosure arena.  Short sales can also be a source of great deals, but often those transactions take longer and involve lots more paperwork and hassle.  So know what you're doing - or work with a real estate agent that does - if you plan to buy a short sale property.  Oh, and I'm always available to assist as a buyer's agent, familiar with both foreclosures and short sales.  [:)]

Anyway, the sales data for residential real estate is showing signs of improvement.  Unfortunately, people are still worried about their jobs, and being understandably cautious about making a major investment, like a new home.  So I think we're going to have to wait it out and see if consumers start to have more confidence in the market, and get off the fence while inventory is high, and prices and interest rates are low.

Good luck to everyone out there in this really tough market.  I prefer to be a "glass half full" girl and hope that these small signs mean things are looking up, and we've moved past the bottom, possibly in 2Q 2009.  Fingers crossed that I'm right!

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