Click here to download Market Update charts for September 2014.
As Summer winds down and we head towards Fall, we expect a seasonal slowing down in residential real estate sales. In September, however, Harrisonburg and Rockingham County recorded 106 residential sales (as reported by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service) – an increase over Augusts’ 101 sales! Now, this doesn’t mean the top has blown off the local real estate market, but it is encouraging to see steady activity continue through September. Here are a few other highlights:
- Regular readers of this report know total sales Year-to-Date have lagged behind 2013 all year, but that the gap has narrowed every month since April. That trend continued in September, with the gap narrowing to less than 1%. Based upon contracts placed on homes in the past two months versus contracts placed on homes last year in August and September, I expect YTD sales to overtake 2013 figures by the end of October.
- Speaking of contracts placed on residential properties in September, Buyers and Sellers ratified new contracts on 102 properties in September, a decrease from August but still a very strong number for September.
- Pricing again remained steady, with the 12-month average sales price increasing slightly to $198,453 and the 12-month median sales price staying even at $175,000. These benchmarks have remained fairly steady since June, 2013 despite strong Buyer activity.
- Inventory declined in both the City and County during September. This is to be expected, as far fewer homeowners choose to enter the market by offering their home for sale in the Fall and opposed to Spring or Summer. Since sales have remained strong, it is logical to see a decrease in overall inventory. If Buyer activity remains strong, this may put upward pressure on prices.
- Finally, the average Days on the Market continues to drop, with the 12-month average now standing at 165 days. As I have mentioned before, many homes (37% so far this year) go to settlement within 90 days of entering the market. This number will continue to drop as the luxury market recovers, and the “stale” homes which have been on the market for an extended amount of time sell and leave the market.