Is the New River Valley a Buyers or Sellers Market?

I’ve been frustrated this week.

This week, I’ve written offers for buyers that were well-suited for the homes they were trying to purchase. They were good people, they were well-qualified, and they were ready to close. And each time, we didn’t get the house. They’re frustrated, I’m frustrated, and it got me thinking … where is the market? It seems like things are moving faster, and they are. Properties are on the market less time (at NRVLiving, we’ve seen our Days on Market drop more than 60% over last year), and multiple offers – which we haven’t seen in years – are back. We’ve been involved with TEN this year already! So as I was venting my frustration to an agent friend, who was gamely trying to talk me off the ledge, I got to wondering whether or not we were in a buyers market, or a sellers market. Based on the activity I’m seeing, I’m guessing we’re seeing a sellers market.

Run your own search for a home.

In trying to determine what type of a market we’re in, we’re looking at the absorption rate of the market – how long is it taking to sell the existing residential inventory, if nothing else came on the market until supply was exhausted. And for definition, anything over 5 months worth of inventory is typically a buyers market, and anything less than 5 months is typically a sellers market.

So with that in mind, I’ve broken out the months of inventory (the number of properties currently for sale, divided by the number of properties sold YTD) for all residential properties (condo, townhome and single-family) in the Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Radford markets, and further divided them by price points. The months of inventory for the real estate market in Blacksburg/Christiansburg/Radford MSA is also included, at the bottom of the table.

Price Point Blacksburg Christiansburg Radford
< $200000 1.47 1.77 2.58
$200001-300000 1.73 3.52 5.00
$300001-400000 1.38 1.66 10.00
$400001-500000 5.00 2.00 No sales
$500001-600000 3.00 No sales No sales
$600001-700000 2.00 No sales No sales
> $700000 No sales No sales No sales

Blacksburg/Christiansburg/Radford Months of Inventory – 2.11

Just a little more than two months worth of real estate available in the New River Valley, which means we’re smack dab right in the middle of a sellers market. Which means that The Nest Report for the 1Q of 2012 was right on target.

This is both good and bad, in my opinion. On the one hand, it’s good for sellers (and the market in general), because it means that properties priced appropriately are clearing the market, and reducing inventory levels. It’s also potentially bad, because a faster market can sometimes lead to buyers jumping at properties because they feel they have to, in turn running the risk of overpaying. It’s my job – I think – to try and be balanced between tracking where things are headed, and being clear in my explanation of the market and where the property fits. Maybe we’ve lost out because I’ve been slow to react to this change, but I still feel as if I’m hired as a buyers agent to be an effective, clear sounding board.

If the home is not under contract, it’ll show up here.

Sellers – regardless of the market, price still matters. But if you can find the balance between price and exposure, your home will sell.

Buyers – the market has changed. You – and I – both need to adjust.

I don’t want my clients to miss out on any more great homes.

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