The 2018 real estate market posted gains in total sold dollar volume and median price, but saw a slight reduction in units sold.  The year closed out with a total sold dollar volume of $1.925 billion which represents a 3.7% increase over the year-end totals for 2017.  The market saw a 4.3% year-over-year increase in median price, going from $287,556 in 2017 to $299,990 in 2018.  Units sold remained nearly static from 2017, finishing out the year at 5,997 compared to 6,036 units sold in 2017.  The year-over-year decline was less than 1% and could be driven in part by inventory constraints. 

2019 FAAR President Drew Fristoe states, “2018 had its usual ups and downs, but overall it was a great year.  Inventory levels in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range are still on the low side and very competitive.  There is still a lack of affordable entry-level housing in the Fredericksburg area.”

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract and is removed from active status on the multiple listing service, fell over 12% with houses averaging 72 days on the market in 2018 compared to 82 days in 2017.  The vast majority of sales were of 3 or more-bedroom single family homes, with that segment making up over 93% of the total units sold. 

December, a traditionally slow month in real estate, ended the year with significant declines in units sold and total sold dollar volume compared to December of 2017.  The month saw just over $99 million in total sold dollar volume, down nearly 17% from December of 2017.  This is the first month that the region has fallen below $100 million in sales since February of 2017.  Median price posted the only notable year-over-year increase in the market, settling at $307,500 in December, representing a more than 10% increase.   Units sold were down over 23% from December of 2017, with 403 properties selling last year compared to just 309 in December of 2018.  The decrease in units sold impacted both attached and detached homes.  Attached homes sold decreased by over 36% while detached homes sold decreased over 21%. 

Days on market remained nearly static with houses spending an average of 87 days on the market in December of 2018 compared to 86 days last December.  Active listings were up 2.5% with buyers having 1,338 listings to choose from.  New listings coming onto the market were down nearly 6% with 398 sellers putting their homes on the market in December of 2018 compared to 423 in 2017. 

Several factors in 2019 could impact the performance of the local real estate market.  “Trying to predict what will happen with the market in 2019 is a hard one,” says Fristoe.  “The partial government shut down and the uncertainty with how long it will last, the volatility in the stock market, and raising interest rates are all going to be factors in the 2019 market. Buyers and sellers are keeping an eye on all of these factors.”

*brightMLS has changed the calculation for days on market leading to a higher overall number compared to past reports.  The new calculation accumulates days when a listing is “active under contract” where the old system paused accumulation of days on market when a listing was in any contingent status.”

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