The State Of The Market – January 2008

2007’s done, and we’re off to a strong start in 2008.  I wrote last month that 2007 wasn’t a bad year for real estate, and boy was I wrong. 

Coldwell Banker Townside had it’s best year ever with more than $140 million in real estate sold, and the NRVLiving Real Estate Team set records as well, with 5% of that total!  Townside has been serving the New River Valley for more than 30 years, and last year saw its’ highest sales figure ever, in a "down market".  Uh huh. 

One word can describe our market – local. 

Nothing particularly spectacular in this month’s absorption rate – we still saw January’s market to be reflective of a winter market.  If current activity is any indicator that’s about to change for some agents – Pareto’s Principle is in full effect in real estate – but overall things were slow for the market.  18.73 months worth of inventory on the market for the month of January, up from 17.71 in December 2007.  Still a buyer’s market, but I’m expecting we’ll start to see that change as early as mid to late 2008.  Remember, we’re looking at how long it would take to sell the existing
residential inventory in a particular area, if nothing else came on the
market until supply was exhausted.  Anything over 5 months is typically
a buyers’ market, and anything less than 5 months is typically a
seller’s market.

Area Active    Sold      Absorption Rate    Buyer/Seller Market 
Blacksburg 180 19 9.47 Months Buyer
Christiansburg 249 22 11.32 Months Buyer
Montgomery County 63 3 21 Months Buyer
Floyd County 65 7 9.29 Months Buyer
Giles County 60 4 15 Months Buyer
Pulaski 89 4 22.25 Months Buyer
Dublin 101 2 50.5 Months Buyer
Radford 66 6 11 Months Buyer

From last month:

My prediction (which is worth nothing but we’ll see whether or not it comes true) – 2008 will be strong for buyers as inventories will remain slightly inflated, and loan rates will remain stable.   Sellers will need to focus more than ever on setting their home apart, and they can do that by having the home ready to sell, and by maintaining an honest perspective of their market position.  If they’ll do that, they will benefit from a ready, willing and able pool of buyers.

I still believe that.  Even with the recent fluctuations in rates, which are still low but likely to go up again in the near term, pricing is going to be key for sellers.  We can’t go from 20 months worth of inventory to a complete shift in the market overnight, and sellers need to be prepared.  But if you want your home sold, there are agents out there still doing it – here are some great questions to consider asking your next agent.  They’re from an agent in Charlottesville and an interview he went on, but they apply well to the New River Valley as well. 

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