Tag Archives: inventory

When Do Houses Come On The Market?

Seems like, for years now, people continue to ask “when do more houses come on the market in the New River Valley?” It’s true that, as I write this a few days before Christmas 2016, inventory is down, as it is every year. For instance, if you were looking for a single-family home between $250,000 and $300,000 in Christiansburg right now, you’d have twenty six homes to choose from. In Blacksburg, that number would drop to eleven. This makes sense, of course, as in the last six weeks of the year there are three major holidays, and lots of traveling, but for a buyer who’s ready to buy NOW, it can be frustrating. A good start would be with the Ammons Pittman company, visit company website here to see what property management you may need.

With that in mind, our real estate market follows most in the country – a typical bell curve, with more listings coming on the market in the spring, peaking in the summer, and falling off in the fall. It’s a pattern that’s been repeated for years now, and one we can reasonably expect to continue.

So – looking to buy in 2017? Don’t be disheartened by lack of inventory at this moment in time. Consider the chart below, which shows activity levels for the New River Valley real estate market going back to 2003. You can clearly see a sharp peak, year after year, as more and more properties came on the market. And for home sellers, fear not – the same pattern applies to you, as well.

So if 2017 is the year that you’re looking to buy, or sell, know that your options – and competition – may be limited right now, but that will likely change as we head into the New Year. As always, if you have any questions, any of our Nest brokers are happy to discuss further.

Have a Merry Christmas!

The Roanoke Times – Rise in Real Estate Activity

The New River Valley real estate market is shifting – no doubt about that – and buyers and sellers will need to adjust. We still have some challenges, but things are improving. Sarah Cox of The Roanoke Times wrote about it in this past Sunday’s real estate section.

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Agents report rise in activity – Sarah Cox, The Roanoke Times, 6/10/12

Several New River Valley REALTORS say consumer confidence is growing

Representatives of the National Association of REALTORS announced at the end of April their belief that the beginning of a recovery in the U.S. housing market is evident. Sales are lowering inventory and might nudge prices to rise higher. The Pending Home Sales Index, which is a future indicator based on contract signings, is 12.8 percent above March 2011 and, as of April 30, was at its highest level since April 2010.

Locally, the same forecast has been voiced by several New River Valley REALTORS, including Desi Sowers, associate broker with RE/Max 8, and Jeremy Hart of Nest Realty and NRVLiving.

Sowers, who was the new River Valley Association of REALTORS’ 2010 REALTOR of the Year, said she has been selling homes “within days of putting them on the market” – and not just homes within reach for most first-time homebuyers. She said she is selling homes ranging from $100,000 to $600,000.

The change is even more marked, she said, at Claytor Lake where sales are primarily of second homes. In the past several years, those homes were “extras that people couldn’t afford,” said Sowers, adding that she thinks consumer confidence is growing.

Sowers said the more expensive homes in Blacksburg have received offers in about a week after being listed.

“Overall, buyers are finally figuring out that this market is not going to last. Interest rates are still good, but rent prices are going up,” Sowers said, noting those looking at homes now are often ones who were renting and waiting until their first homes sold.

Interest rates are still about 4 percent for a 30-year fixed rate loan. There has also been a demand this year coming from those who were renting and waiting for the economy to improve. And during the traditionally high-sales months of the summer, Sowers hopes to see this trend continue.

“I’ve been consistently busy. We are slam packed. It’s fabulous for our market as a whole, and it’s putting money into the economy,” she said.

However, it may not be just consumer confidence or the low interest rates, spurring business. Hart, who attended a business forum recently, said the Corporate Research Center employs about 2,500, and has plans to grow. And then there’s Virginia Tech and Radford, both of which employ professionals looking for homes. Hart said he’s heard complaints about the lack of housing to suit the needs of those buyers.

“I totally agree with that,” he said. “People who want to be in Blacksburg can’t find the quality housing stock without having to pay $300,000 or more. What I’m hearing on online forums is that there is still some struggle [finding those houses]. The average price of a house in Blacksburg is about $250,000, and that’s not going to get you a lot. That’s why people are moving to Christiansburg.”

Hart said the difference in comparable housing from Blacksburg to Christiansburg to Radford is notable. A home in Blacksburg listed for $250,000 might be listed in Christiansburg for $215,000 and in Radford for $180,000, he said.

Hart also have been in 10 situations recently where potential buyers were making one of multiple offers on a house. Those bottlenecks ranged from homes of $100,000 up to $1 million.

“There has been a massive shift in inventory levels, things coming off the market much faster,” he said.

Sowers has advised her clients not to wait if they are considering selling.

“Put your home on the market. There’s a huge flurry of activity, and as far as home prices, the increase is small, but don’t hold out for next year. We are going to see a leveling of prices,” she said.

Hart said the time to list a house is when the owner and the home are ready.

“The homes that are selling are priced realistically,” he explained, adding that it also helps when they are well staged and marketed with high-quality photos. “To those sellers who have gotten discouraged, if you are willing to take an honest look, now may be a good time, but not until you are ready to make that assessment.”

Hart said some of the higher-priced homes he has sold went to those who had cash or were in a position to qualify for a jumbo loan. It is still fairly tough getting a loan, he said.

“I had an agent tell me, ‘I’m preparing clients to expect that they are going to be examined as if they were a criminal.’ This was not meant in a bad way, but they are asked the same questions over and over,” Hart said.

To be prepared for the process, Hart said he asks his buyer to have a lender pre-qualify them for a loan so they’ll know they are looking for homes in the proper price range.

“Once you’re under contract, the lender is going to take a look at everything, so they want to know that we’ve done the prep work,” he said.

YTD Real Estate Figures for Christiansburg VA

Six months of the year are behind us, and it’s a downhill race to the finish in 2010.  To say it’s been an interesting year in real estate is an understatement – there was the rush to get under contract for the buyer credit, and then we’ve seen a much slower-paced market since April 30th.  I posted the YTD real estate figures for Blacksburg last week; the Radford real estate numbers were posted earlier this week, and today’s it’s Christiansburg’s turn.  Following are the sales and inventory figures in Christiansburg for the first six months of 2010:

Christiansburg Inventory Levels and Average Sales Prices

< $200000 –                   9.6 months       $146556

$200001 – $300000 –   12.0 months     $240334

$300001 – $400000 –   6.48 months     $353180

$400001 – $500000 –   No Sales

$500001 – $600000 –   No Sales

$600001 – $700000 – No Sales

$700001+ – No Sales

These inventory levels are referencing what’s called the “absorption rate” – how long it would take the market to “absorb” the current inventory if nothing else came on the market.  In the New River Valley – and in most real estate markets, really – a balanced market is a figure of six months.  Anything less than six months is a sellers market, anything more than six months is a buyers market.  So by looking at how many homes are on the market in a particular price point, as well as looking at what’s sold over the last six or twelve months, we can get an idea of just how long it would take the market to absorb the current inventory levels.

A couple things jump out at me from the outset.  First, this is the closest that I can recall the 12-month average sold price between Blacksburg and Christiansburg being so close.  The $200000-300000 price point in both Towns is typically where the most number of listings can be found, and this is the first time I can remember the average sales price in Blackburg being so close to the average sales price in Christiansburg.  With nearly 42% more sales in Blacksburg (126) than in Christiansburg (74), I suspect this is indicative of those two markets become much more similar – and that’s a good thing, because it takes away some of the “can’t buy into the Blacksburg real estate market” that many buyers mention.  Second … no sales in the $400000 or higher price points?!  If I’m a homeowner in those price points in Christiansburg, I’m frustrated.

Price to sell.

YTD Real Estate Figures for Radford VA

Six months of the year are behind us, and it’s a downhill race to the finish in 2010.  To say it’s been an interesting year in real estate is an understatement – there was the rush to get under contract for the buyer credit, and then we’ve seen a much slower-paced market since April 30th.  I posted the YTD real estate figures for Blacksburg last week, and today it’s Radford’s turn.  Following are the sales and inventory figures in Radford for the first six months of 2010:

Radford Inventory Levels and Average Sales Prices

< $200000 –                   9.7 months       $122055

$200001 – $300000 –   28.0 months     $262443

$300001 – $400000 –   22.3 months      $355997

$400001 – $500000 –   36.0 months      $456000

$500001 – $600000 –   29.4 months      $545583

$600001 – $700000 – No sales

$700001+ – No sales

These inventory levels are referencing what’s called the “absorption rate” – how long it would take the market to “absorb” the current inventory if nothing else came on the market.  In the New River Valley – and in most real estate markets, really – a balanced market is a figure of six months.  Anything less than six months is a sellers market, anything more than six months is a buyers market.  So by looking at how many homes are on the market in a particular price point, as well as looking at what’s sold over the last six or twelve months, we can get an idea of just how long it would take the market to absorb the current inventory levels.

Radford is typically a slower market than many others in the New River Valley.  Don’t get me wrong – inventory levels are high in Radford, but they are high just about everywhere else, as well.  In Radford in particular, it’s a balance between what’s the lowest you’ll take for your home vs. the patience to wait in what is obviously a much slower real estate market.  Price your home to sell, and make sure it looks better than everything else.

YTD Real Estate Figures for Blacksburg VA

I’ve been spending the last couple of days digging into the real estate numbers for the New River Valley, and I thought I’d share some of the figures I’m finding so far.  This post deals with sales and inventory figures in Blacksburg for the first six months of 2010, while subsequent posts will deal with market statistics for Christiansburg and Radford during the same time period.

Blacksburg Inventory Levels and Average Sales Prices

< $200000 –                   8.53 months     $143398

$200001 – $300000 – 7.51 months     $247136

$300001 – $400000 – 10.9 months     $345830

$400001 – $500000 – 17.4 months     $435668

$500001 – $600000 – 12.0 months     $545583

$600001 – $700000 – No sales

$700001+ – 20.0 months        $803166

Whenever I look at inventory levels, I’m looking specifically at the “absorption rate” – how long it would take the market to “absorb” the current inventory if nothing else came on the market.  In the New River Valley – and in most real estate markets, really – a balanced market is a figure of six months.  Anything less than six months is a sellers market, anything more than six months is a buyers market.  So by looking at how many homes are on the market in a particular price point, as well as looking at what’s sold over the last six or twelve months, we can get an idea of just how long it would take the market to absorb the current inventory levels.

In Blacksburg, real estate inventories are high.  There are a lot of properties on the market, and not many coming off, and while as a home seller that may seem like a bad thing, it isn’t necessarily so.  Every seller I’m working with is getting the same message – Price your home to sell, and make sure it looks better than everything else.  The buyers that are out there will take notice …

Why Pricing Is Important Heading Into The Summer

Location location location is supposed to be the mantra of the real estate world, but price price price ought to be the bible.  Historically the summer months are the most active for real estate here in the New River Valley, as the graphs below show (data compiled is from Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford and Montgomery County):

Days On Market for residential single-family homes, April 2007 – April 2010

Days on Market for Condos and Townhomes, April 2007 – April 2010

The winter always seems to slow things down a bit, but as we leave April and had into the summer, inventory levels have dropped each year, to their lowest point of that year.  And July seems to be the month when things start to trend back upwards to longer times on the market.

So sellers, if you have a property in a good location, that’s great.  How you stand out in regards to your price might be even more important.