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Culpeper Market November 2011

Dec. 15, 2011
Categorized in: Culpeper County

If you want it in a sound bite: Inventory is much improved. Sales stink!

Here are the details of the Culpeper real estate market.

Year over year the number of houses for sale is down almost 20%. That's terrific news! There are now fewer than 10 months of inventory at the current sales pace. That's getting pretty close to what's traditionally been defined as a healthy market.

You can, of course, find depressing stats as well.

The dollar volume of real estate sold this November as compared to a year ago is down 44%. That's a substantial number. The number of houses sold is down 36%.

But the average sales price is only down 8% year over year. Not nearly so gloomy.

The average days on market has actually improved. A year ago it took, on average over 3 months to get a contract on your house. Now that number is 79 days.

What happens next depends on several factors, including:

  • How many foreclosures are banks waiting to dump on the market?
  • Will Europe implode and drag us back into recession?
  • Will the unemployment numbers continue to improve?

Prince William March Numbers

Apr. 21, 2008
Categorized in: Prince William County

We're going to look at Prince William County statistics today.

Prince William is different than the other counties I look at here. Its numbers are better by far in almost every category. If you were only looking at Prince William you could be forgiven for thinking things had definitely turned around.

There are 5757 properties currently for sale. And, inventory is one of the few indicators that show the market headed in the wrong direction. Last month there were 5573 homes for sale. In March a year ago there were only 4527 homes available. 1631 new listings came on the market in March. Last month there were 1595. A year ago in March we saw 1764 new listings.

502 sales closed in March of this year. That's up 49% over last month! And, if we look a year ago, when 418 houses sold, we're up 20%. Again, year over year numbers are the more meaningful statistic.

Even better are the number of new contracts written. 820 new contracts were written in March of 2008 as opposed to 698 in February. That's a 17 percent jump. Again, I don't give that a lot of weight because things should be getting better. It's spring! But the really good news is that last year at this time there were only 508 sales. That's a whopping 61% year over year increase.

Now, here's why! Prices have dropped dramatically. The average sales price in March of this year was $299,586. The average sales price a year ago was $408,574. That's a price drop of 26%. Compare that the Fauquier County average sales price of $318K and you begin to see some of the reason homes aren't selling as well there. Do you want to commute those extra miles with gas prices headed towards $4 a gallon and traffic getting worse?

Also, keep in mind that one of the reasons prices have dropped faster there is the larger number of foreclosures. Banks will do what they need to do to get the houses sold and off their books.

The number of new construction listings is substantially down frm last year. The number of sales of new construction is relatively flat.

More than any other local county, there are signs of hope in Prince William County. Yes, the price drops are steep, but it's getting the market moving. Sellers in other counties should take note.

Asking About Average Sales Price

Mar. 28, 2007
Categorized in: Finding the Right Agent

In our continuing, occasional series on interviewing a realtor, I'm going to talk this time about average sales price as a percentage of list price.

First of all, let's work on some definitions. Let's say you list your home for $400,000. If it sells for $400,000 you've sold it for 100% of the list price. If you sell it for $390,000 you've sold it for 97.5% of it's list price.

If an agent averages those numbers over all the transactions they do, you get average sales price as a percentage of list. It's a number I would ask an agent for when I was interviewing them.

To give you a frame of reference, during the hot sellers market a couple of years ago, it was not at all unusual to have an agent have an average that was over 100%. Obviously, that's not true these days! For February, 2007, the last month for which numbers are available, the average for Fauquier County was 92.76% and for Culpeper County 94.22%.

Ideally, of course, you want an agent whose numbers beat the averages! And you definitely want an agent who doesn't look like a deer in the headlights when you ask them about this. They may not know the exact market numbers for last month for a particular county. But they should certainly know generally where the numbers have been. And they should definitely be able to tell you what their own numbers look like.

Piedmont Real Estate Blog

Blog by Julie Emery
Amissville, Virginia

An ongoing dialog on real estate news, opinion and trends in Northern Virginia and the greater Piedmont area. Julie is an Associate Broker at Frankly Real Estate Inc, 6304 Crossroads Circle, Ste 102, Falls Church, VA 22044

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