Wednesday August 27, 2008

By
Real Estate Agent with ReMax 1st Olympic NW

The Virginia Association of REALTORS (VAR) recently released a report for the 2nd quarter of 2008 and there is much about it that is interesting and encouraging.  Covering everything form sold homes and pending transactions to the foreclosure trends across the state, the report shows where we were, where we are now, and where we're heading.

First, looking to the number of homes sold in the 2nd quarter (April-June), the report analyzes the statistics from 24 metro and regional areas across the state. Lynchburg reports 646 closed sales for 2008, and 802 from 2007 – a change of -19%. Its important to note that a19% drop is not nearly as drastic as other areas like Williamsburg (-39% change) and Dan River (-36% change).

Second, the Median Sales Price for the Lynchburg area was $152,593 for the 2nd quarter of this year, and $149,975 for 2nd quarter 2007. Lynchburg was one of only 7 regions to post either a neutral or positive gain in this area. The statewide median sales price for 2008 was $273,597 and for 2007 was $257,102 – a gain of 6%.

Next, the Average Sales Price for our area during the 2nd quarter 2008 was $175,224, following 2007’s average of $177,143 – a drop in value of 1%. Only four other regions posted better results – Dan River with a 0% change, Roanoke Valley with a 0% change, South Central Region with a 10% gain and Williamsburg with a 10% gain. Statewide, the Average Sales Price for 2008 was $319,462 and for 2007 was $343,202, for a collective 6% decline.

The Pending Sales Index denotes ‘signed sales contracts’ for the 2nd quarter; the Lynchburg region saw 817 properties go under contract during the quarter, compared to 1140 for the same quarter in 2007 – a decrease of 28%. While the state average showed a year-over-year decrease of 20%, there were a number of localities with more positive numbers for this past quarter.

One final word regarding foreclosures; in December 2006 Virginia ranked 41st in the nation in foreclosure rates. By June 2008 that ranking had risen to 11th place – a disturbing trend. However, to quote the report; "the foreclosure problem is not statewide, and in fact is dominated by the foreclosure problems in Northern Virginia. There are also problems in the metro areas of Richmond, Virginia Beach and Winchester, but the rest of the state is experiencing very minimal foreclosure issues with only a handful in the other metropolitan areas." In fact, on a chart showing foreclosures in Virginia Metro Areas, Lynchburg does not even register on the graph.

I believe this data all points to stability in many areas across our state, and the potential for growth in the next 12 months.

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