Business Resources

Resources for your real estate business.

Stats, stats everywhere!

FAAR has so many great sources of real estate data, dive in and see what best fits your needs!  Here is a rundown of what we push out on a regular basis.

  1. Granular, jurisdiction level reporting
  2. Press release on the region as a whole
  3. Infographic on the region with a local spotlight
  4. Virginia Realtors® Monthly Market Indicators Report 
  5. BrightMLS Monthly Report
  6. Quarterly Virginia Realtors® Housing Report 

Whew, we know that’s a lot of data!  Each item is linked below and starting in February of 2021, all data will be housed with a fresh new look on the market statistics page.  Take a tour of the statistics reports available and take what is useful for you, all of this is available for you to use in your business!

MONTHLY HOUSING STATISTICS

Click on the buttons below for each local jurisdictions’ 2020 year-end report.  This information is located in the second block down on the right side of the Market Statistics page and is updated monthly.

The next items are all also found on the market statistics page.  They are either listed by month along the right side or in the body of the page.  

Have clients who need rent or mortgage assistance?

The FAAR Property Management Committee has delved into some important issues recently including accessing rental assistance on behalf of tenants.  Check out the links below for more information on state administration of the program, what might be coming down the pike from Washington, and registration for our next Property Management Committee meeting.

Virginia Housing now administering the Rent and Mortgage Relief Program
Virginia Housing, formerly VHDA, is now the centralized hub for this renamed program.  To get information on applying on behalf of your clients or following up on an existing application, please visit the Virginia Housing website.  We have always had a great relationship with the VHDA folks so if you are experiencing any issues with applications on behalf of your tenants, please email Kim McClellan at FAAR so that we can share that with the state.

Recording of January Property Management Meeting featuring NAR
If you missed the meeting on Wednesday, click here to access the video recording.

Save the Date:  Wednesday, March 3 at 9:00am Property Management Meeting featuring the Virginia Realtors®
We will hear from the Government Relations team at the Virginia Realtors® about what happened in the General Assembly session and what we need to prepare ourselves for in terms of new laws come July 1.  Register here

Top 3 Reasons to Earn Your GRI

Top 3 Reasons to Earn Your GRI

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the business a while or are just starting out. If you’re hungry for more success, it’s time to raise your real estate career to a higher level by earning the most comprehensive real estate designation: Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI).

Just ask current GRI designees. In a recent survey, they indicated these top three reasons for earning the GRI:

1. Gain comprehensive knowledge

The coursework provides in-depth training on the most essential topics, including market knowledge, business skills, systems and tools, and risk management—substantially beyond what’s covered by licensing courses.

2. Build confidence

 Past graduates consistently say they love their GRI because it gave them confidence in their own skills and credibility with clients—essential components for building a successful real estate career.

3. Impress consumers

With “Graduate, REALTOR® Institute” by their name, they stand out in their market as an agent who takes advanced real estate education seriously.

Not only do GRIs have a leg up on agents without the designation, the time required to earn your GRI goes a long way towards demonstrating your level of commitment to yourself, your clients, and the industry. It’s a true win-win-win proposition.

How is the GRI different? Unlike most NAR designations, the GRI is managed independently by each state association of REALTORS®, with slightly different course requirements. This provides an optimal blend of state-specific content along with national perspectives. Also, GRI designees do not pay any annual dues to maintain their designation.

Learn More

Are you ready to become a GRI and elevate your business? Learn more and find courses offered in Virginia at virginiarealtors.org

Fredericksburg-area Real Estate Market Wraps Up a Sizzling Year

“In a year of uncertainty, one thing was certain:  the housing market was hot,” states 2021 FAAR President Carrie Danko.  “In March, as widespread local shutdowns and quarantines were implemented to curb the pandemic, it seemed that the housing industry should prepare for a tough year,” continues Danko.  “Instead, we saw buyers and sellers adjusting to COVID precautions and restrictions resulting in one of the best years in real estate in over a decade.”  The year closed out with a total sold dollar volume of just over $3 billion which represents a nearly 30% increase over the year-end totals for 2019.  The market saw a significant 10% year-over-year increase in median price, going from $310,000 in 2019 to $339,520 in 2020.  Units sold increased over 19%, finishing out the year at 8,310 compared to 6,978 units sold in 2019. 

“The only downside to the 2020 market was low inventory and buyers felt it.  Most sellers experienced multiple offers, likely over list price, after only days on market.  Many buyers experienced disappointment after disappointment, especially buyers in the most competitive price ranges.  Ultimately, 2020 did end with very happy sellers and buyers as evidenced by the over 8,000 transactions that took place in our market,” says Danko. 

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 a whopping 31% with houses averaging 42 days on the market in 2019 compared to just 29 days in 2020.  More than half of homes sold in 2020 went under contract in 10 days or less.  The vast majority of sales were of 3 or more-bedroom single family homes, with that segment making up over 83% of the total units sold. 

December kept with the trend of the year and posted an impressive 56% increase in sold dollar volume and a nearly 44% increase in units sold.  The month saw more than $259.8 million in total sold dollar volume, compared to $166.5 million in December of 2019.  Median price was up 10%, settling at $347,222 this December compared to $314,388 last December.   Units sold increased from 483 last year to 695 this year, with significant increases in both attached multifamily and detached single family. 

Inventory has been the main challenge facing the local real estate market for a few years now and the events of 2020 exacerbated an already bad situation.  December 2020 closed with the lowest number of homes available on the market in over 10 years with just 511 available properties, which represents a less than one month supply of homes.  By comparison, we closed the year 2015 with a 3.8-month supply of inventory and 1,574 homes on the market. 

While any predictions about 2021 are incredibly uncertain at this point, Realtors® are anticipating a strong year in the market.  “My hope for 2021 is that interest rates remain at historic lows, inventory starts coming on the market at higher levels, strong buyer activity continues, and that 2021 finishes even stronger than 2020,” Danko concludes.   

 

Say NO to Stafford County downzoning!

UPDATE AS OF JANUARY 20, 2021:  The downzoning item was removed from the Consent Agenda and was discussed at length at the Tuesday, January 19, 2021 Board of Supervisors meeting.  After competing motions to dismiss downzoning and to send it back to the Planning Commission, the ultimate decision was to defer the item again until the public can safely return to the Board Chambers and fully engage.  The item is expected to be back on the agenda for the Tuesday, February 16, 2021 meeting.  FAAR will continue to monitor this situation closely and keep our members apprised of any Board action.  While downzoning remains on the table, there was interest expressed in looking at some of the Planning Commission’s other ideas.

Interested members can access more materials related to downzoning below including a sample letter to send directly to the Board of Supervisors.  Click here to read an article in the Free Lance Star about the Board’s action from January 19.  

Downzoning is still on the table, so we need our members to keep letting elected officials know that we care!  Consider sending emails to the Stafford County Board of Supervisors to let them know of your opposition.  

Supervisor Meg Bohmke:  mbohmke@staffordcountyva.gov
Supervisor Tom Coen:  tcoen@staffordcountyva.gov
Supervisor Cindy Shelton:  cindyshelton@staffordcountyva.gov
Supervisor Tinesha Allen:  tallen@staffordcountyva.gov
Supervisor Gary Snellings:  gsnellings@staffordcountyva.gov
Supervisor Crystal Vanuch:  cvanuch@staffordcountyva.gov
Supervisor Mark Dudenhefer:  mdudenhefer@staffordcountyva.gov 

UPDATE as of January 2021:  Due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19, Stafford County is deferring action on downzoning until the public can safely engage at County Board of Supervisors meetings.  The issue is still on the table, but we expect consideration to be mid-February or later.  FAAR continues to monitor this situation and provide input to the Board.  It is important that our members do the same!  Consider using the sample letter linked below to send an email to the Stafford County Board of Supervisors.  Click here to read an article posted in the Free Lance Start about this issue on January 18, 2021.

UPDATE as December 2020:  Stafford County has posted the agenda for the 12/15 Board Meeting.  The agenda has been posted here for anyone who wants to check it out.  The Board has added a resolution stating their desire to see an exemption for Family Subdivision.

SAY NO TO STAFFORD COUNTY DOWNZONING!

Stafford County continues to pursue efforts to downzone property in the A-1 agricultural zoning district.  This effort will now require more acreage to create a buildable lot, changing the minimum lot size from 1 house per 3 acres to 1 house per 10 acres.  This action will reduce land values in the rural areas, decimate decades of wealth creation for Stafford County families, and will rob landowners of the right to do with their land as they see fit.

The County’s own Commissioner of the Revenue estimates that a 10-acre downzoning could reduce rural land values between 50% and 60%.  (Check out his video explaining how that will happen here.)  Those that would be most impacted are smaller landowners who typically use their acreage to subdivide for family or to sell off a lot or two to fund college or retirement.  In fact, the County is only off 94 homes from their Comprehensive Plan target for rural housing development.  The vast majority of development in the County happens in suburban areas so any reduction in rural housing growth will be negligible.

 

Fredericksburg-area Real Estate Market Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

The local real estate market shows no signs of slowing down despite the ongoing pandemic, fears of another wave of the virus, continued economic contraction, and cooler weather approaching.  Total sold dollar volume was up a whopping 63% from last year, coming in at approximately $291.1 million this October compared to $178.1 million last October.  The region’s median price increased for the 19th straight month, soaring more than 13% year-over-year going from $310,000 in October of 2019 to $352,000 in October of this year.  Units sold increased a record breaking 42% with 760 homes sold this October compared to 535 last year.

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 50% with houses averaging a mere 20 days on the market in October 2020 compared to 40 days in October 2019. 

“With the listing inventory still at an all-time low, the October market resulted in higher sales volume and increased sale prices,” comments FAAR Board of Director and affiliate member Donna Schmidt.  “Escalation clauses were insane, with buyers foregoing home inspections and all other contingencies taking us back to the 2004-05 market.  However, appraisers and Realtors® have tried to keep things in check and are doing an amazing job keeping up with the times.”

The region’s supply issues continue to frustrate buyers as the market saw another huge drop in active listings compared to last year at the same time.  The region closed out October with just 653 homes on the market, a 59% decrease from last year.  Realtors® would have said a year ago that supply was the biggest issue facing the market and that was when active listings were over 1,600.  New listings provided a glimmer of hope again this month with a more than 13% increase in homes coming on the market over the same time last year. New listings are quickly being absorbed into current demand leading to higher units sold the next month.  New pending transactions were strong again this month with a 44% increase, indicating that things are not slowing down.

Evictions now require a 14-day notice and other new laws…

From the Virginia Realtors…

Critical updates to help YOU operate within the law

Governor Northam called a special session of the General Assembly, which began on August 18, 2020. Throughout this session, Virginia REALTORS® worked to maintain the status of “essential” for our members, enabling them to remain open for business. The 2020 Special Session was limited in scope to legislation to assist with the pandemic response and police reform. Because housing is closely related to the pandemic, eviction legislation was a top priority.

Your Virginia REALTORS® Government Relations team worked tirelessly with senators, delegates, and the Governor’s office to strike a balance for our property managers, owners, and their tenants, as we all continue to rebuild our economy. Within that discussion and debate, we successfully shared the plight of small “mom and pop” owners, many of whom own just a couple of rental homes. In addition, we helped secure approximately $62 million of rental relief that is available for owners and tenants if they have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, the General Assembly concluded the 2020 Special Session. Some of the Governor’s Amendments to the Budget were not adopted which means the Governor has until December 9, 2020 to address the Budget (so the Budget is not yet final).  The Budget contains language that controls legal processes for evictions, including language that dovetails with the federal eviction moratorium through December 31, 2020 issued by the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”).  Although we do not anticipate the Budget language on evictions to change, it is important for members of Virginia REALTORS® to understand what is coming.

But first, it is important to be aware of one piece of legislation that has an emergency clause was signed into law by the Governor and is therefore effective on November 9, 2020. HB 5064 amends the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act (“VRLTA”) to require a landlord who owns four or less dwelling units to give the tenant a 14-day notice instead of a 5-day notice for nonpayment of rent. For landlords who own five or more dwelling units, the VRLTA now requires a 14-day notice instead of a 5-day notice for nonpayment of rent, with the additional requirement that the tenant shall be offered the opportunity to enter a payment plan for the back-rent owed, with payments spread out over six months. Landlords and property managers should carefully review the provisions of HB 5064 by clicking this link. HB 5064 sunsets on June 30, 2021.

The major changes in landlord-tenant law are contained in the State Budget, which again is not yet effective but will be sometime in December.

Under this new language in the State Budget, Virginia will continue to operate under the CDC’s eviction moratorium until December 31, 2020. In Virginia, no landlord shall terminate a residential tenancy, or take any action to obtain possession of a dwelling unit, for non-payment of rent through December 31, 2020, unless such an eligible tenant refuses to apply for Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (“RMRP”) assistance and refuses to cooperate with the landlord in applying for rental assistance through the Virginia RMRP. If the tenant refuses to apply for rent relief or refuses to cooperate with the landlord in applying for rent relief, the landlord can proceed with the eviction process within 14 days of receipt of the written notice. However, no eviction is allowed to occur under the CDC eviction moratorium until after December 31, 2020. In addition, landlords must do the following:

If the owner owns LESS THAN 5 residential rental units, the owner or their agents MUST:

  • Provide a notice to the tenant, if late on the rent:
    • informing the tenant of the total amount due and owed;
    • informing the tenant of the web-address of the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program – https://www.virginiahousing.com/RMRP – and the phone number to call to inquire­, 2-1-1;
    • informing the tenant that the landlord, owner, or agent SHALL apply on behalf of the tenant to the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program and that the landlord will cooperate with the tenant, if the tenant is applying; and
    • comply with the 14-day notice provisions of HB 5064:

https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?202+ful+HB5064ER2+pdf.

If the owner owns 5 OR MORE residential rental units (or more than a 10-percent interest in more than four rental dwelling units, whether individually or through a business entity), the owner or their agent MUST:

  • Provide a notice to the tenant, if late on the rent:
    • informing the tenant of the total amount due and owed;
    • informing the tenant that if the tenant provides to the landlord a signed statement certifying that the tenant has experienced additional expenses or a loss of income due to the declared state of emergency (COVID-19), the tenant may, but is not required to, enter into a payment plan under which the tenant shall be required to pay the total amount due and owed in equal monthly installments over a period of the lesser of six months or the time remaining under the rental agreement. The total amount due and owed cannot include late fees, nor can late fees be assessed during the payment plan period so long as the tenant is making timely payments;
    • informing the tenant of the web address of the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program – https://www.virginiahousing.com/RMRP – and the phone number to call to inquire, 2-1-1;
    • informing the tenant that the landlord, owner, or agent SHALL apply on behalf of the tenant to the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program or that the landlord will cooperate with the tenant, if the tenant is applying; and
    • comply with the 14-day provisions and the payment plan requirements of HB 5064:

https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?202+ful+HB5064ER2+pdf.

The deadline for landlords to apply for rent relief on behalf of their tenants is November 30, 2020. It is vital that landlords begin the process of setting up a profile with the Rent and Mortgage Relief Program AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Information on the program, how to create your profile, tenant eligibility, and how to apply for rent relief is available on the Virginia Housing website. The profile approval process can take up to 5 days before applications can begin, so please set up your profiles now. Funds are available for 100% rent relief for tenants who are making 80% AMI 30 days prior to the application. Funds can be proactively applied for through December 2020 so long as there is a lease in place.

In the coming days, we will send more information on how to proceed with your owners and tenants and what changes will go into effect after the federal eviction moratorium expires on December 31, 2020. Until then, we will continue working for you and your clients.

2020 Realtor Cereal Collection Drive Results

2020 Realtor Cereal Collection Drive Results

REALTORS® and Affiliates did a tremendous job of seeking out cereal this year! YOU CRUSHED the goal of 16,000 boxes and ended up collecting 28,022 boxes of shelf-stable food for our community.

Who won?

Affiliate collecting the most boxes – 4-way tie!

Tim Liddy with Charden – 200 boxes
Donna Schmidt with 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty – 200 boxes
Tony Bolding with Alcova Mortgage – 200 boxes
Katie Williams – First American Home Warranty – 200 boxes

Most Cereal Per Agent

1st Choice Better Homes and Land – 10,118 boxes total

Most Improved

Long and Foster – from 3,361 boxes in 2019 to 7,256 boxes in 2020

Runner-ups Most Cereal

Century 21 New Millennium – from 2,772 boxes in 2019 to 3,699 boxes in 2020
Weichert Realtors – from 527 boxes in 2019 to 3,303 boxes in 2020
United Real Estate Premier – from 806 boxes in 2019 to 1,554 boxes in 2020

Honorable Mention

Hometown Realty – first time participating and collected 325 boxes!

Grand Prize

1st Choice Better Homes and Land – 10,118 boxes!

 

Thank you also to these cereal collectors!

CTI Real Estate

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Century 21 Redwood

Universal Title

Coldwell Banker Elite King George/Colonial Beach

Topside Federal Credit Union

Regarday

Rental Assistance and the Eviction Moratorium

Eviction Moratorium

What is the current status of evictions in Virginia?  Can landlords evict individuals for non-payment of rent or other lease violations? 

The answer is yes, but with qualifications.  While the statewide eviction moratorium has ended, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has instituted a nationwide eviction moratorium for folks unable to pay rent due to financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.  Any renter who certifies that they meet certain criteria cannot be evicted for failure to pay rent.  However, tenants can be evicted for other lease violations and Virginia courts are accepting unlawful detainers.  

NAR has issued a brief on the federal eviction moratorium that details the criteria for protection.  Check out the document below for full information. 

Rent and Mortgage Assistance 

Is there funding available to help tenants with rent and homeowners with mortgage payments?

Yes, the state has allotted federal CARES Act money to provide assistance to those who cannot make their rent or mortgage payments due to financial losses from the coronavirus pandemic.  The Rappahannock Area United Way is the administrator of those funds in our area and is currently accepting applications for assistance.  Please click the button below to be directed to the United Way’s website for information on the program, how it works and who is eligible.  

Press Releases

Fredericksburg-area Real Estate Market Wraps Up a Sizzling Year

“In a year of uncertainty, one thing was certain:  the housing market was hot,” states 2021 FAAR President Carrie Danko.  “In March, as widespread local shutdowns and quarantines were implemented to curb the pandemic, it seemed that the housing industry should prepare...

How hot can the local real estate market get?

Potential buyers in the Fredericksburg-area housing market are asking themselves, how high can it go?  The market posted another sizzling month with dramatic increases in total sold dollar volume and units sold coupled with plummeting days on market. Sold dollar...

FAAR Installs 2021 Leadership Team

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) installed its 2021 Leadership Team in a virtual ceremony on Thursday, December 10, 2020.  Despite the year’s many challenges, the Association under 2020 President Drew Fristoe remained committed to serving the...

FAAR debuts NEW monthly housing report

FAAR has a new monthly report provided through the Virginia Realtors® that is chock full of detailed information about the local market.  Use this data for your listing presentations, communication with your sphere and for your social media posts.

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