I can write about all things real estate, but that doesn’t always mean it’s always relevant. So I asked on Twitter, “what’s on your mind regarding real estate?”
Some of my favorite Twitter folks (Twitterati?) responded, so let’s talk about those questions here.
I see nothing in the price range for a single teacher. All the new developements (houses and apartments) are starting at 280K. What do these people do for a living? It seems like its driving people out of our community. I lost 2 students to other districts during Covid-19.
— Ms. Tuckwiller (@MsTuckwiller) June 9, 2020
As both rental and house prices continue to go up, what are the options for all the people that are priced out of living in Blacksburg?
— Pawel Nazarewicz (@MrNMath) June 9, 2020
Probably should have started with the easier question, first.
It’s no surprise people are interested in this. If you’ve followed our market reports, you know that the last several years have been “low inventory high demand”. That’s only continued in this COVID-19 world we’re currently in.
Pawel’s question centers around Blacksburg, where through May 2020 the median sales price in Blacksburg has climbed 3.6%, from $290,000, to $300,000, and the Days on Market for a property has fallen from 10 days to FOUR. That’s tough for any buyer, even the most qualified, and multiple offers above list price have been commonplace. Ms. Tuckwiller refers more to Montgomery County as a whole, but the same data applies.
Over my almost two decades (goodness that’s a long time) as a Realtor in the New River Valley, we’ve often seen buyers who determine Blacksburg as being unaffordable have gone to Christiansburg, but that argument in 2020 might be debunked, as well. Christiansburg has seen a FIFTEEN PERCENT increase in median sales price through May 2020, with prices climbing to $239,950. Days on Market have fallen, as well, from 11 days to 3 days. So where do buyers go next?
Pulaski has been one area that we’re seeing more and more folks look to, and they’re certainly making a push for it with projects like this and this. And we’re seeing areas like Giles County generating momentum, with sales increasing year-over-year the last several years. As more and more companies go the way of remote work with their employees, we may just see more of these communities throughout the New River Valley get a big bump as people learn to #LiveWhereTheyLove.
I don’t see a sustained, long term climb for prices in Blacksburg, as at some point it just becomes impossible for buyers in any price point. I do think Blacksburg will remain the peak of the real estate market in the New River Valley, with adjacent communities gathering more and more buyers who’ve decided the prices in Blacksburg and Christiansburg just aren’t worth it. But the “drain” that we see as people choose other places to live because of affordability is not something we’ve yet addressed. I’m serving on a community workgroup at the moment that’s working on this vary problem, but there’s a great deal of work left to do, for sure.
What crazy developments are being built in town. I've watched big houses off North Main going up…literally between a large cemetery and backed up right to 460.
And I'm sure somebody will buy them.
— Jonathan Roberts (@Jonathn_Roberts) June 9, 2020
Ah yes, The Villas on North Main. Built by Fralin Homes out of Roanoke, this little community IS right up against 460, isn’t it? They’ve built these floor plans throughout the New River Valley, and Roanoke, and they keep selling. Just up North Main another few hundred yards will be another 15 or so homes built by Stateson Homes, as well, although I don’t have information on those at the moment. And further down Prices Fork Road, in the County, another 400+ homes are slated across two separate developments. Unfortunately, to Ms. Tuckwiller’s comment above, the price points of those homes are almost certainly going to be $300k and higher, which again speaks to the lack of affordability.
As always, I’d love to chat about whatever’s on your mind. I’m afraid we haven’t solved any problems here, but we have highlighted that affordability runs through both questions. We HAVE to get this under control, but I’m not sure how. Or if that’s even a possibility in some communities here in the New River Valley.