NewsRecent news, business resources and press releases.
FAAR hosted a panel discussion called “Booming Business: how to capitalize on the growing 55+ market” featuring a stellar group of speakers moderated by 2020 FAAR President, Drew Fristoe. Below you will find a new resource guide with contacts to all of the panel members in pdf form for easy printing and sharing and a recording of the event. Here is the list of panelists with contact information.
Century 21 Redwood
Spring Arbor of Fredericksburg
Healthy Generations, Area Agency on Aging
A question was also asked about how to find qualified local attorneys who specialize in elder care. Kim Moulds was kind enough to share a resource she received from ElderCare Matters. If you’re interested in investigating this resource, please visit eldercarematters.com. FAAR does not have a relationship with this organization nor does the Association endorse using their services. It is being shared for informational purposes only.
While the staff at FAAR has been hard at work from home, the easing of restrictions on businesses announced by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has the staff excited to come back and serve our members in real life. The safety of our staff, our members, and the public is paramount to FAAR so we have created a phased reopening approach.
The entire office was deep cleaned. At the front desk, plexiglass partitions were installed to minimize person-to-person contact during transactions. We are stocked up on hand sanitizers and disinfectants so that the staff can regularly clean the frequently used areas such as door handles, bathrooms, and classroom.
FAAR is open on an appointment-only basis to start and then will reopen fully with adherence to the Governor’s requirements and with continued virtual capabilities. Check out the full details of the reopening schedule, the staff looks forward to continuing to provide the membership with great service!
May 18: FAAR staff returns to work
- Members are welcomed in the building on an appointment-only basis
- For your safety and for the safety of those around you, we require that face coverings and a 6-foot social distance be maintained at all times
- Staff will wear masks when interacting with members
- We will continue all current services virtually as well as serving you in the office
- Staff will conduct frequent wipe downs of high-touch areas such as the front desk, elevator buttons, shared equipment, kitchen counter, faucets, microwave, refrigerator, etc.
June 1: FAAR resumes normal business hours for all members
- For your safety and the safety of those around, FAAR encourages all members and the public visiting the building to wear face coverings and maintain a 6-foot social distance
- Staff will continue to disinfect high-touch areas on a frequent basis
- FAAR will continue to offer classes, meetings, and events in a virtual format in addition to in-person at the office, as allowed by the Governor’s orders
Enjoyed conducting all of your FAAR business remotely? No need to stop! We will continue to offer virtual processing of all membership services, touchless store pickups upon request, and virtual learning for CE credit.
The Fed released a study on the economic well-being of U.S. households, with extra data from April 2020. No surprise that financial circumstances were generally positive in 2019 but that financial conditions changed dramatically for people who experienced job loss or reduced hours during March 2020 as the spread of COVID-19 intensified in the United States.
Click the image to access the Fed’s website with the full report and a short video on the report highlights.
FAAR Releases 2020 Fredericksburg Area Smart Growth Survey
In early 2020, FAAR contracted with the National Association of Realtors® to conduct a survey on growth and development attitudes in the Fredericksburg region. The survey was conducted by the firm American Strategies and reached 425 adults aged 18 or older who indicated they live in the City of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County, or Stafford County. The survey was conducted March 5 through March 8, 2020.
The survey looked at people’s opinions on quality of life, availability of amenities like access to medical facilities, entertainment, restaurants, and places of worship, housing affordability, barriers to homeownership, and priorities of local government. The survey results provide the basis for further consideration by the FAAR Board of Directors about how the Association can continue to advocate for affordable housing and sustained, responsible growth.
While continued governmental restrictions shutter businesses and completely change the way Americans operate in their day-to-day lives, the local real estate market bucked national trends and posted increases in volume, sold price, and units sold. While national news outlets are reporting decreased sales and falling prices, the local market saw sellers receiving 98.9% of their original list price, indicating that we are not seeing downward pressure on prices as a result of the restrictions in place to combat COVID-19.
Sold dollar volume was up more than 12% in April, jumping from approximately $189.8 million last April to more than $213 million this year. The increase in volume was fueled by a nearly 4% increase in units sold and a more than 6% increase in median sold price. There were 598 properties sold this year compared to 573 last April with a median price increase from $318,000 last year to $338,548 this year.
Stafford County led the charge in rising median price posting its highest sales price in the month of April since 2006. Median price in the County for April was $390,000, not too far off from the last highest price of $402,000 posted in April of 2006. Every other jurisdiction except for Orange County saw an increase in median price, and even that decrease was fairly negligible at 3.6%.
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 nearly 24% with houses averaging just 29 days on the market in April 2020 compared to 38 days in April 2019.
Overall active listings were down more than 26% this April compared to last year and new listings coming on to the market were down over 22%. Prospective buyers have just 1,220 homes to choose from right now, with 882 new listings coming onto the market. This is a significant reduction in new listings and active listing from March, indicating that as the area progressed deeper into economic restrictions and fears of contracting the virus, would-be sellers became more reticent about putting their homes up for sale.
“The inventory of homes on the market has been affected as some sellers are reluctant to have buyers tour their homes,” states FAAR Board Member Sandy Pearce. “Realtors® are using creative means to showcase the homes that ARE on the market with virtual showings and Facebook Live open houses, and many buyers are facing bidding wars when they find their home of choice. Some buyers are putting their home search on hold until the time they feel more comfortable being out. All this could portend for a very active summer market as interest rates remain at historic lows.”
Would you like to be part of the decision making as FAAR moves into the post COVID-19 new normal?
Does a leadership role in FAAR interest you?
Are you ready to give back to the REALTOR® community?
-Pat Breme, CIPS, RCE
If you have answered yes to one or more of the questions than you might be interested in running for the 2020 FAAR Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee is accepting applications until June 5.
The Board is a hard working body of 13 people who set policy for the entire association. The group meets monthly to ponder issues, solve problems and keep the association financially solvent by carefully managing funds and investments.
A new Director commented, “ I had no idea the Board did so much.” A lot of deliberation is given to each topic on the agenda. The reoccurring question asked? “Is this good for the membership?”
The members voted in 2017 to add an affiliate member position on the Board of Directors. Affiliate members are welcome to submit an application. The Affiliate Director has full voting rights, serves no longer than a two-year term and may not serve as an Officer. Affiliate members applying for consideration follow the same application and vetting process (interviewed by the Nominating Committee) as an agent member would follow in applying to run for the Board of Directors.
Affiliate applications are reviewed by the Nominating Committee and those persons who meet the basic requirements of service to the Association, exhibit leadership characteristics and a willingness to dedicate time and energy will be considered for an interview by the Committee. The Committee can recommend all the applicants, one or none, but not more than three may be placed on the ballot. The affiliate candidate getting the highest number of votes receives the position.
Below is the application for a new director and the Leadership Code of Conduct forms. Return the completed forms to me at firstname.lastname@example.org on or before June 5. Selected applicants will be notified of an interview time.
Please contact me, email@example.com with questions you might have. View the contact information for the 2020 Leadership Team at faarmembers.com/leadership. Each would be happy to answer any questions you might have about serving.
The terms are either for 2 or 3 years. Is the Board a clique? Yes, if you define the word as a group of people with common interest. The common interest is YOU!
Can you help you the residents of the Thurman Brisben Center? The shelter is trying to find stable, long-term housing for many clients right now and they are looking to the Realtor® community for some volunteers to help with that effort. Do you have a passion for helping under-served communities and know your way around the area rental market? Then you could be the perfect fit! Contact Kim Lally or David Cooper with the shelter for more details.
Thurman Brisben Fast Facts:
- Only about 1% of Brisben clients are served by local housing programs, leaving the rest to be “self-resolvers” and figure it out on their own.
- In April 2020, over 60% of residents moved into temporary housing including about 20% into hotels.
- 43% of people entering the shelter have been housed there before.
- Thurman Brisben does not receive any funding to help with re-housing (rent subsidies, security deposit assistance, etc) and they have only two case managers who are trying to assist a large number of people move into stable, long-term housing. This is where YOU can play a part!
FAAR’s Education Committee and our Affiliate Marketing Partners have weighed in to give you a set of tips to keep you sane and sailing through this time of upheaval due to COVID-19. Check it out!
Looking for more resources? Visit faarmembers.com/coronavirus
Information about Reopening: Broken down by the Loudon County Chamber of Commerce and shared by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. Thank you!
Governor Northam announced Virginia’s plan to “reopen Virginia” and move into Phase I of the Governor’s three-phase plan. In order to move into Phase I, the Governor has extended Executive Order 53 to May 14. This order, originally signed on March 23rd, prohibited all gatherings of more than 10 individuals, closed all dining establishments for dine-in, and effectively closed all entertainment and personal care businesses such as gyms, beauty salons, and theaters.
As long as the new COVID-19 cases continue to show an average downward trend, Phase I will allow the reopening of most services, prohibited in the executive order, on Friday, May 15th. The expectation of the Governor is that Phase I will last three weeks. Assuming the downward trend continues for an additional three weeks, Virginia will move into Phase II.
The details of Phase I include:
- Stay-At-Home has been replaced with Safer-At-Home to remind residents that a risk continues to exist when leaving the home.
- Gatherings of more than 10 remain prohibited.
- Businesses are encouraged to develop policies for their employees returning to the workplace.
- Physical distancing and face coverings are encouraged while at work.
- Personal care businesses may reopen on a reservation-only basis.
- Restaurants may reopen for dine-in patrons by spacing out their tables, disinfecting more regularly, and serving with facemasks and gloves.
- Retail businesses may reopen with limited capacity and clear signage to customers communicating the spacing rules.
- Gyms may reopen with limited capacity and increased cleaning intervals.
Governor Northam estimates that Phase I will last two to four weeks before moving into Phase II. Once we enter Phase II in mid-late May, even more restrictions will be lifted. The Governor did say that more details are currently being developed for Phase I and Phase II, but as of now the expectations of Phase II are:
- Stay-At-Home for vulnerable populations.
- No social gatherings greater than 50.
- Continued use of teleworking, social distancing, and face coverings while in public.
- Further easing of business limitations.
We will remain in Phase II until there is no evidence of a rebound of COVID-19 for a sustained period of time. The Governor expects Phase II could last 6-8 weeks before we move into the “longer-term” Phase III. The guidance of Phase III includes:
- Safer-At-Home practice for vulnerable populations.
- Removal of ban on social gatherings.
- Removal of capacity limits on establishments.
- Continued heightened cleaning and disinfecting.
- And other possible measures.
How things have changed from January and February! COVID-19 crashed into our market in mid-March and virtually ground life as we know it to a halt, so how did that impact the local real estate industry? The first quarter of 2020 was strong, with increasing volume and pricing, and decreasing inventory and days on market. The leading edge of COVID-19 impacts started to be felt in late March, but overall the quarter was a strong one. Access the full report below and share with your clients and customers. Questions or feedback about the report? Send Kim McClellan an email.
While continued governmental restrictions shutter businesses and completely change the way Americans operate in their day-to-day lives, the local real estate market bucked national trends and posted increases in volume, sold price, and units sold. While national news...
How things have changed from January and February! COVID-19 crashed into our market in mid-March and virtually ground life as we know it to a halt, so how did that impact the local real estate industry? The first quarter of 2020 was strong, with increasing volume...
The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) announces its endorsement of Mary Katherine Greenlaw for Mayor of the City of Fredericksburg. The general election was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 and also includes seats for At-Large City...
Despite significant concern over the impact of COVID-19 on the local real estate market, March numbers show increases in sold volume, median price and units sold. FAAR Board Member Linda Fosdick remarks, “Our Lake Anna market enjoyed a robust spring. Even at the...