The Truth – Or Speculation – Concerning New River Valley Real Estate in 2011

I think it's a bear. Or maybe a seahorse.

I received an interesting email yesterday from someone “named” NKOR.  The subject line read “Hokies vs. Hoos – no rivalry in home prices?“.  With Rivalry Week upon us here in Blacksburg, and a little event this weekend that folks from both schools might be paying attention to, it certainly caught my attention.

But first … Ouch.

“From the housing peak to 2012, markets in Florida, Nevada and California will be down around 60 percent.”

We’re certainly not without our share of scary real estate stories here in the New River Valley, but what’s it like to be selling a home in Arizona, California, Florida, New Jersey or Nevada right now?  I remember several years ago that my mom sold her house in FL, just north of Naples.  It sold in six months, thankfully, but nearly two years later homes were still for sale in her neighborhood that had been for sale before she went on the market.  I can only imagine the stress and fear that has to cause – and for some (according to the Case-Shiller index) that’s going to continue.

Anyway, back to the Hokies vs. Hoos rivalry.  Apparently NKOR reads Jim Duncan’s blog as well, because his email referenced a post Jim did yesterday linking a CNNMoney.com calculator that says the national median home price is expected to rise by 4% in 2011, and allows you to see your own market compared.  According to the site, home prices in the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford is predicted to see a drop of .03% between the first quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, while the Charlottesville area is expected to see an increase of 1.3%.

Take it all with a grain of salt, however.  I’m not saying the New River Valley real estate market doesn’t need some help in some areas (see this, this or this), but the site says that we saw a 7.1% decrease in median home values between 3Q 2008 and 3Q 2009.  When I look at the data, I see virtually no change in median home prices during that time period ($180000 in 2008, $181000 in 2009) … and if you take out everything but detached homes, there was actually an increase of 6% ($195000 to $207000).

The moral of the story?  No one knows, so in the meantime I’ll keep on watching the market, and as I’ve been telling the folks I’m working with we’re going to keep on rowing.  Oh, and we’ll have a good time Saturday.  Go Hokies.

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