Press Releases

February Picks Up the Pace in Local Real Estate Market

While February statistics tracked fairly closely to 2018 numbers, pending sales indicate a warming in the local real estate market.  Total sold dollar volume increased 2.4% in February, coming in at $106.4 million compared to nearly $103.9 million in February of 2018.  The number of units sold increased year-over-year almost 2.6%, going from 348 last year to 357 this February.  Median sales price fell by close to 5%, declining from $287,750 in February of 2018 to $274,000 in February of 2019.     

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 8.5% with houses averaging 86 days on the market in February of 2019 compared to 94 days in February of 2018. 

Inventory posted the biggest story in the February real estate numbers.  Active listings were up nearly 19%, going from approximately 1,100 available properties in February of 2018 to nearly 1,400 for this year.  Overall, inventory gains have been so small that most buyers in the market wouldn’t notice, but having 200 more homes to choose from this February compared to last can make a difference.  In addition, February pending home sales portend a solid March with an over 47% year-over-year increase compared to last year.  In February of 2018, the market ended the month with 230 homes under contract compared to the 339 that are currently under contract. 

The commercial real estate market is also an integral part of our local economy.  “The commercial market is moving along nicely,” according to commercial Realtor® and FAAR Board Member Ben Keddie.  Most major commercial statistics show that the region is performing well and has been for a number of years.  Keddie continues, “What we are expecting in 2019 includes some of the marquee projects that have been in discussion for a few years finally making great progress including Liberty Place, the new baseball stadium, and hopefully a local Veterans Administration clinic.” 

FAAR Partners with Local Housing Non-Profits to Expand Affordable Housing Opportunities

On any given day, 200 adults and children are homeless in our community.  Homelessness is often a root cause of many other issues such as poor health, trouble in school, and lack of employment.  No one can feel stable without a place to call home. 

The Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors® (FAAR) has partnered with local housing non-profits to help expand affordable housing opportunities through the launch of the Stable Homes Partnership.  FAAR began working last year with housing non-profits through the Continuum of Care (CoC), a federally-mandated local planning body that coordinates housing and services for homeless families and individuals. 

Under the CoC umbrella, FAAR partnered with Micah Ecumenical Ministries, Loisann’s Hope House, Empowerhouse, and the Thurman Brisben Center to create a marketing and recruitment plan to expand the pool of property owners’ in the region willing to rent to families and individuals facing housing challenges.  The partner organizations assist tenants with rent and security deposits, while also providing case management and regular property inspections to smooth the path for long-term stability and success.  Property owners engaged in the program have access to a ready pool of quality tenants paying fair market rent, reducing costly downtime advertising and showing their properties. 

FAAR and the CoC agencies are hosting an informational session about the Stable Homes Partnership on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 with identical sessions at 9:00am and 7:00pm.  This informational meeting features an overview of the program and panel discussions with both property owners and case managers involved in the program.  The events will take place at the Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors® headquarters located at 2050 Gordon W. Shelton Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA, 22401.  For more information or to RSVP for one of these events, please email kmccllelan@faarmembers.com

January Ushers in a Sluggish Start to 2019 Real Estate Market

The 2019 real estate market kicked off with mixed results.  Total sold dollar volume fell 14.5% in January, coming in at $88.961 million compared to over $104 million in January of 2018.  The number of units sold decreased year-over-year over 13.7%, going from 342 last year to 295 this January.  Median sales price remained relatively static, posting a meager 1.85% increase.  The median price in January of 2018 was $284,725 and it increased to $289,990 in January of 2019.   

FAAR Board of Director Clay Murray explains, “January was a challenging month in local real estate due to a number of factors: continued low inventory, frigid weather, normal market seasonality, and a partial government shutdown affecting buyers, sellers, and some government-backed mortgage programs, namely USDA loans. Our local market is strong, but those external factors added a hint of temporary uncertainty.”

Some jurisdictions saw double digit declines in sales volume compared to last January.  Caroline County saw a 25% reduction in the number of units sold, Spotsylvania County came in at over 35% fewer units sold, and King George led the decline in sales with a 60% reduction in January of 2019 versus last year.  Even Stafford County, which avoided the sales declines that plagued some jurisdictions at the end of 2018, saw a 7.4% reduction in the number of sales.    

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 6% with houses averaging 94 days on the market in January of 2019 compared to 100 days in January of 2018. 

Murray is optimistic that the market will shake off the sluggishness of January and recover for the traditionally busy spring market. “The month ended with a reinvigorated market, ripe and ready to enter a strong spring a little early with a bonus of good news on interest rates.”

2018 Local Housing Market Posts Modest Gains

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.”

November Real Estate Market Sees Typical Seasonal Slowdown

The November real estate market experienced a typical seasonal slowdown with decreases in total sold dollar volume and units sold and an increase in median sales price.  Total sold dollar volume came in at $120.3 million, representing a nearly 3.8% year-over-year decrease from the November 2017 number of $125 million.  Units sold decreased from 401 properties sold in November of 2017 to 382 properties sold in 2018.  Median price increased 5.2% going from $285,000 last November to $300,000 this November.

“In November, the real estate market experienced a typical seasonal slowdown as we approached Thanksgiving,” commented FAAR Board of Director Arlene Mason.  “Showing activity slowed early in the month and buyers seemed to be more discriminating and selective.  The market transitioned from the seller’s market that we saw during the summer months to a more balanced and normal market.”

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, increased over 5% from November of last year.  Homes spent an average of 83 days on the market in November of 2017 compared to 87 days on the market in November of this year.

Inventory increased 3.6% in November of this year, with 1,532 active listings on the market compared to 1.478 listings on the market in November of 2017.  While active listings were up, every other measure of transactions decreased, indicating that the market is slowing heading into the holiday season.  Total pending contracts at the end of November were down 15.5% from last year.

*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.”

Local Real Estate Market Rebounds Slightly in October

The October real estate market posted increases in total sold dollar volume and median price, while units sold came in at the same amount as 2017. Total sold dollar volume increased from $128.8 million in October of 2017 to $138 million in October of 2018, representing a 7% year-over-year increase.  Median sold priced increased 3.5% going from $285,000 in October of last year and increasing to $295,000 in October of this year.  Units sold was on par with last year, with 419 properties sold in October of 2018.

“Heading into the end of the 2018 real estate market, it’s been a great year overall in the Fredericksburg area. October has seen a typical, seasonal slow-down in sales. Notably, the beginning of the month was slower while there were encouraging signs of strength in activity as November approached,” states FAAR Board of Director Chip Taylor.

“The market has been a little “mixed” in King George County and surrounding areas with pockets of homes that literally fly off the market while there are others that linger longer with days on market on the uptick,” continued Taylor. “Housing inventory remains quite tight and interest rates are stable but continue to edge up.”

Inventory remained static in October, with nearly the exact number of homes on the market now as there were in October of 2017.  Prospective buyers have 1,654 homes to choose from right now, with 733 new listings coming onto the market.  That represents 2.5% more new listings in October of this year versus October of last year.  October posted at or above 5% increases in new homes under contract, new contingent contracts, and new pending contracts in October, but all pending transactions were down almost 10% from October of last year.

Please note that this report does not contain any data on days on market. Those statistics are unavailable at press time due to the transition of local real estate data from the old MRIS platform to the new brightMLS platform.   

FAAR Adds Orange County to its Jurisdiction

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) added Orange County to its jurisdiction. The County was previously assigned to Greater Piedmont REALTORS® (GPR). A majority of agents who live and/or work in Orange County are already members of FAAR and participate in the activities and services of the Association. The transfer made sense to GPR, who approached FAAR with the suggestion, and FAAR’s Board of Directors agreed. The National Association of REALTORS® assigns localities to associations, approved the move. FAAR welcomes Orange County to its footprint and to agents who may join FAAR. Agents who are already members of FAAR will appreciate the Association’s outreach to the locality. FAAR will establish relationships with the County government as it has with the jurisdictions already under its umbrella- the City of Fredericksburg, and the Counties of Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George and Caroline and the Colonial Beach area of Westmoreland.

September Posts Disappointing Total Volume Numbers

September posted disappointing year-over-year decreases in total sold dollar volume and units sold while posting a median price increase, indicating that the local real estate market may be slowing down heading into the cooler months.  Total sold dollar volume decreased over 11%, going from nearly $148.2 million in September of 2017 to $130.8 million in September of 2018.  This decrease was fueled by a nearly 18% drop in total units sold, which decreased from 500 units sold in September of last year to 411 units sold in September of this year.  Median price did climb 8.9% compared to the same time last year, increasing from $269,900 last September to $293,900 in September of this year.

Leading the loss in sales were the City of Fredericksburg and King George County, with 58% and 54% less units sold in September of 2018 than last September.  The loss in units sold represents a 52.7% decrease in total sales volume for the City and a nearly 51% decrease in total sales volume for King George County.  Stafford County was the only jurisdiction to post year-over-year gains in total sold volume and units sold, increasing 16.2% and 8.7%, respectively, compared to last year.

“The market has slowed a bit, which is typical for this time of year as buyers and sellers are focused on back-to-school activities.  Rising interest rates and lack of inventory have also affected the market, but from all signs next year will most likely be more balanced and continue on a slow, but steady, course,” states FAAR Board of Director Sandy Pearce.

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract, increased 2% in September compared to the same time last year.  In September of 2018, homes spent an average of 49 days on the market compared to 50 days in September of 2018.  This is the first increase in average days on market since August of 2016.

Overall active listings were up 2% in September of 2018 compared to last year, with prospective buyers having 1,782 homes to choose from.  New listings were down 2.85% with 715 homes coming on the market this September compared to 736 last September.

July Posts Modest Gains in Local Real Estate Market

Rain continued to be the story of our region throughout July with severe weather potentially impacting the pace of home sales.  “July was a challenging month,” states FAAR Board Member Mark Geslock.  “The rains slowed open houses and some showings were postponed or cancelled due to flooding.  Listings were deleted because professional photos had to be rescheduled,” continued Geslock.  Despite the soggy conditions, the market managed to post modest gains in total sold dollar volume, median sold price, and units sold.

Total sold volume increased over 6%, increasing to $208.7 million in July of 2018 from $196.5 million in July of 2017.  Median price saw a nearly 3.4% year-over-year increase going from $301,000 in July of last year to $310,000 in July of this year.  Units sold increased from 622 in July of 2017 to 639 in July of 2018, representing a 2.7% jump in sales.

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract, fell at a slower pace in July than in previous months.  The market has been experiencing year-over-year reductions in days on market exceeding 20%, but July came in at a more modest 8.7% decrease.  In July of 2017, homes spent an average of 46 days on the market compared to 42 days in July of 2018.

A bright spot in July’s statistics was the over 10% increase in new listings entering the market.  In July of 2017, 839 new homes came on the market but in July of 2018 there were nearly 100 more at 925, representing a 10.25% increase.  Active listings remained static in July with a negligible 0.12% increase by adding just two more homes to the active inventory compared to last year.  In July of 2018, buyers in the market had 1,728 homes to choose from.

May Sees Impact from Inventory Shortage

Fredericksburg, VA (June 14, 2018) The following analysis of the Fredericksburg, Virginia area housing market has been prepared by the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® based on analysis of brightMLS multiple listing data.

The inventory shortage that the Fredericksburg region is experiencing had an impact on the real estate market in the month of May.  Total sold volume remained static, posting a meager .78% increase from May of 2017.  May of 2018 saw a total sold dollar volume of $195.2 million while May of 2017 was less $2 million shy of that at $193.6.  Median price saw a 6% year-over-year increase going from $282,000 in May of 2017 to $299,450 in May of 2018.  A higher median price didn’t translate into a higher sold volume due to the nearly 3.5% drop in units sold.  In May of 2017, 630 properties sold in the market compared to just 608 in May of 2018.

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract, fell significantly, going from 55 days in May of 2017 to just 40 for this May.  That represents a more than 27% decrease and demonstrates how quickly well-priced homes are moving off the market.  “The market is still seeing a real lack of inventory and the inventory that is available often has been on the market for a while,” stated 2018 FAAR President Kevin McGrath.

Inventory numbers continued to increase in May, consistent with seasonal trends.  Active listings posted a nearly 3% increase with 1,658 properties on the market in May of 2018 compared to 1,611 in May of 2017.  There was also a sizable increase in new listings with 1,128 new homes coming on the market in May compared to 977 in May of last year, representing a nearly 15.5% increase.  “If you are a seller with a home that will show well, it’s a great time to list as buyers are struggling to find homes that meet their needs,” continues McGrath.

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About the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS®
Founded in 1957, the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® is the trade association for more than 1,600 Realtor® and affiliate members serving the areas noted above. Members also work in the surrounding counties of Westmoreland, Louisa, Orange and Prince William and in Northern Virginia. FAAR strongly supports the availability of affordable housing for all market segments and supports government policies designed to enhance homeownership opportunities.  For more information about FAAR, visit www.faarmembers.com or contact Kim McClellan, Public Policy Director at kmcclellan@faarmembers.com or 540-373-7711.

6 projects, 50 volunteers…how FAAR gives back!

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) hosted six community service projects throughout the Fredericksburg area on Saturday, May 19, 2018.  FAAR volunteers prepared a home for exterior painting, painted the entire interior of another home, and cleaned up yards at four other locations.  The projects took place in the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford.

To support the work being done on Saturday, the Fredericksburg Realtors® Foundation contributed $1,500 to the effort to help purchase materials.  The Foundation is a 501©3 non-profit organization that serves as the charitable giving arm of FAAR.

FAAR partnered with the 516 Project, a local non-profit that performs home maintenance and home repair projects for those in need, to perform the work on the six projects.  The 516 Project undertook their spring workday on Saturday, complete with over 100 volunteers and 14 projects completed

April Posts Gains in Total Volume and Units Sold

April typically signals the start of the spring selling season with increasing sales and this year did not disappoint.  Total sold dollar volume increased over 8%, coming in at $164,683,573.  That increase was fueled by 517 units sold in the month of April, representing a more than 7% year-over-year increase.  Median price dipped over 3.5%, settling at $295,000 compared to $305,950 in April of 2017.  “The spring market continues to be strong, with both closed transactions and new transactions showing an increase year-to-year,” states FAAR Board Member Phillip Blake.  “The strong sellers’ market has buyers strengthening their offers with larger earnest money deposits and asking for less in seller concessions and contingencies.”

The drop in median price could be attributed to the sizable increase in the number of attached homes that sold in the month of April, including both duplexes and townhouses.  There was a 73% increase from the same time last year, with 78 selling in April of 2018 and just 45 last April. With an average sold price of $240,808, the increased sales volume coupled with the smaller price tag of attached homes could impact median price overall without moving the needle too much on the median price of single family homes.

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract, fell over 16% with houses averaging 57 days on the market in April of 2018 compared to 68 days in April of 2017.

Inventory numbers were another bright spot in April, showing a boost that is typical of seasonal trends entering the spring selling season.  Active listings remained fairly static with 1,543 properties on the market in April of 2018 compared to 1,564 in April of 2017, representing a small year-over-year over decrease of 1.34%.  However, there was an almost 20% increase in new listings with 1,122 coming on the market in April compared to 938 in April of last year.  “Lenders are closing loans in approximately 30 days, keeping the market turning quickly,” continues Blake.  “This strong market should carry over into the summer and hopefully entice more sellers to get off the fence and list.”

FAAR Announces Endorsements for 2018 City of Fredericksburg Elections

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® announces endorsements Fredericksburg City Council races on the ballot for the May 1st general election.

“Regardless of whether you live or work in the City of Fredericksburg, a vibrant downtown benefits us all throughout the region, serving as a hub of economic, cultural, and academic opportunities,” states FAAR Public Policy Committee Chair Robert Cooper.  “The Committee conducted interviews with all of the endorsed candidates and was impressed by their dedication to the job and depth of knowledge regarding issues of concern to the real estate industry.  In addition, the Committee appreciated their commitment to keep the City growing with a strong focus on economic development, expanded amenities for residents and visitors alike, and increased housing options for prospective buyers in all income brackets.  We look forward to working with the City Council to make Fredericksburg the best place it can be.”

FAAR has endorsed the following candidates running for office in the City of Fredericksburg:

Brad Ellis, Ward 1

Billy Withers, Ward 2

Tim Duffy, Ward 3

Need information on voting?  Click here to visit the City’s Voter Registrar website. 

March Real Estate Market Brings More Gains

Despite cold weather, ice, and snow, buyers and sellers got together in the month of March to produce year-over-year increases in total sold dollar volume, median sold price, and units sold, further contributing to the decline in days on market.  Total sold dollar volume increased over 7% to nearly $150 million fueled by a median price of $299,500, representing a nearly 7% increase over March of 2017.  Units sold remained fairly static at 474 compared to 466 last March, a 1.72% year-over-year increase.

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract, fell nearly 12% with houses averaging 68 days on the market in March of 2018 compared to 77 days in March of 2017.  Days on market varies widely across the Fredericksburg region with a high of 109 days in King George County to a low of 56 in Stafford County for the month of March.

Active listings posted a more than 10% drop from March of 2017, with 1,310 active listings for March 2018 compared to 1,466 last year.  New listings also saw a small year-over-year decrease with 966 new properties coming available in March 2018 compared to 1,007 in 2017, representing a 4% decrease.  The market is currently running at a 2.6-month supply.  Months of supply is the measure of how many months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell, given the current pace of home sales.  A 5-month supply of homes is considered a healthy market, offering opportunities for a range of prospective buyers.  The market is currently seeing the lowest months of supply levels in over 10 years.  The supply peaked in 2008 with a 12-month supply of homes in June of 2008.

“The spring market has started strong,” states FAAR Board Member Drew Fristoe. “Buyers and sellers who have been waiting have decided to start the buying or selling process. The slightly higher interest rates are helping to get buyers to move. This spring looks to be a good one. ”

February Real Estate Market Remains Strong

February continued more of the same for the local real estate market with year-over-year increases in total sold dollar volume, median price, and units sold and a decrease in days on market.  Total sold dollar volume saw a more than 10% increase from February of 2017 breaking the $100 million mark to settle at $103,879,026.  Median sold price increased nearly 5%, going from $275,000 in February of 2017 to $287,750 in February of 2018.  Meanwhile, units sold increased almost 9%, increasing from 321 last February to 348 this February.

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract, fell nearly 6% with houses averaging 79 days on the market in February of 2018 compared to 84 days in February of 2017.  Days on market has consistently fallen each month compared to the prior year since November of 2016.

Active listings posted a nearly 12% drop from February of 2017, with 1,176 active listings for February 2018 compared to 1,331 last year.  New listings also saw a sizable year-over-year decrease with 629 new properties coming available in February 2018 compared to 681 in 2017, representing a more than 7% decrease.

The commercial real estate market is also posting positive numbers.  FAAR Board Member and commercial agent Ben Keddie comments, “The commercial market has been very active of late.  The progress of deals through the sales cycle is still relatively slow but activity and productivity is very high with all signs pointing towards 2018 being a very busy and productive year. “

03 12 18 February Market Statistics

January Real Estate Market Kicks 2018 Off with a Bang

January kicked off a good start to the year in the local real estate market posting significant gains in total sold dollar volume, median sold price, and units sold.  Days on market, which has been continually declining compared to the prior year, decreased significantly again in January of 2018 compared to 2017.  January 2018 generated $104,052,726 in total sold dollar volume from 342 units sold throughout the Fredericksburg region.  This represents a nearly 23% year-over-year increase in sold dollar volume and a 14% increase in units sold.

Median sold price came in at $284,725 compared to $264,500 in January of 2017, posting a nearly 8% increase.  “2018 has started out with confidence built on last year’s strength. As I work with sellers who are preparing to list this spring, they are fueled with optimism and they have every right to be,” states FAAR Board of Director Clay Murray.  “We’re seeing homes entering the market, priced appropriately, going under contract in a few short days…in January!”

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract, fell nearly 7% with houses averaging 69 days on the market in January of 2018 compared to 74 days in January of 2017.  Days on market has consistently fallen each month compared to the prior year since November of 2016.

Active listings posted a nearly 10% drop from January of 2017, with 1,180 active listings for January 2018 compared to 1,307 last year.  New listings saw a slight 2% increase with 617 new properties coming onto the market in January of 2018 compared to 604 in January of last year.

On the challenge of dealing with low inventory, Murray comments, “As far as our current lack of housing inventory, buyers are still eager for more options and are constantly searching and waiting for new listings. To successfully purchase a home, buyers must to do their homework and have a financing plan in place to confidently and quickly pursue a home that sparks their interest. 2018 is yet again proving that the Fredericksburg area real estate market is in great demand, no matter the season.”

02 12 18 January Market Statistics

Fredericksburg REALTORS® Foundation Awards $1,200 Grant

The Fredericksburg REALTORS® Foundation provided a $1,200 emergency housing assistance grant to Mental Health America of Fredericksburg (MHA).  The grant was used to repair the home of a client of the organization participating in their Senior Visitors Program.  The emergency repairs will allow the client to remain in their home.

The MHA client is currently receiving medical care and will soon be discharged to continue convalescing at home.  Without the repairs provided through the Foundation’s grant funding, the client would not have been allowed to return home.  The mission of the Foundation is to help individuals and families stay in their homes and achieve stable housing.

The Foundation provides grants to non-profits addressing local housing needs through a simple grant application.  More information can be found at www.faarmembers.com/foundation/

December Closes Out a Strong 2017 for Local Real Estate Market

The 2017 real estate market posted a significant increase in total sold dollar volume and modest increases in both median sold price and units sold.  The year closed out with a total sold dollar volume of $1,856,321,321 which represents an 11.5% increase over the year-end totals for 2016.  The market saw a more than 6% year-over-year increase in units sold, increasing from 5,686 in 2016 to 6,036 in 2017.  Median price appreciated by 4.6% increasing from $274,900 in 2016 to $287,556 in 2017.

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract, fell nearly 17% with houses averaging a mere 59 days on the market in 2017 compared to 71 days in 2016.  The vast majority of sales were of 3- and 4-bedroom single family homes with that segment making up nearly 82% of the total units sold.

2018 FAAR President Kevin McGrath notes that buyers are getting pickier.  “When a home goes on the market, it needs to immediately present in the best light possible.  Gone are the days of iPhone pictures taken from the car,” states McGrath. “As the Internet continues to be the top source from which buyers start their home search and new technologies make that experience more immersive, the need for buyers to physically visit many homes will diminish, so a great Internet presence becomes even more vital.”

December, a traditionally slow month in real estate, ended the year with a chill that coincided with the weather.  The month saw $119,094,384 in total sold dollar volume, down nearly 6% from December of 2016.  Median price posted the only notable year-over-year increase in the market, settling at $279,000 in December, representing a 3.35% increase.   Units sold were down 4.5% from December of 2016, with 422 selling last year compared to 403 in December of 2017.  The decrease in units sold impacted both attached and detached homes.  Attached homes sold decreased by over 3% while detached homes sold decreased 4.7%.

McGrath found that his agents were busier than normal in December, but that the extreme lack of inventory hurt the market as some buyers weren’t finding what they were looking for in their price range.  “We are also seeing that after a number of years of strong steady growth in average sales prices, sellers are less willing to come off of the list price, and less willing to make major home inspection repairs,” noted McGrath.

Inventory constraints continued to plague the market, especially in the lower priced brackets.  The market experienced a significant 17% decrease in days on market for December of 2017 with houses taking an average of 63 days to sell, compared to 76 days in 2016.  Active listings were down in December nearly 4% from last year, but new listings coming onto the market increased over 14%.  There were also modest year-over-year increases in new homes sale pending that did not settle in December, indicating that January 2018 might get off to a good start.

McGrath states, “We are also seeing new trends in buyer “must haves” such as demanding high-speed Internet access as many more people start working from home.”  Realtors® expect inventory to remain low and prices to heat up heading into the spring selling season.  Competition will continue to be stiff in the lower priced market segments and new construction homes will continue to appeal to buyers with the means to build new who are not finding what they want in the existing housing stock.

November Posts Modest Gains in Local Real Estate Market

November posted modest gains for the local real estate market with slight increases in total sold dollar volume and median price and decreases in units sold and days on market.  Total sold dollar volume increased nearly 3%, coming at $125,014,068.  This increase was fueled by a 3.6% year-over-year increase in median sold price going from $274,950 in November of 2016 to $285,000 in November of this year.  There were 401 units sold in November of 2017 compared to 416 in November of last year, posting a 3.6% decrease.

Days on market, the amount of time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it has a ratified contract, decreased over 7%, going from 69 days in November of 2016 to 64 days in November of 2017.  Inventory remains low, but the market saw a modest increase in new listings, posting a 3.69% increase in November of 2017 compared to the same time last year.  There were 515 new listings in November of 2017 compared to 534 in November of 2016.  Active listings were down nearly 4%, coming in at 1,478.

FAAR Director Laura Fangman credits the strong market heading into the winter season with the increasing savviness of buyers and sellers.  Consumers are seeing the spring selling season start earlier and earlier each year and have begun to adjust to more year-round buying patterns.  Fangman states, “Instead of assuming that the market is dead in the winter and hot in the summer, my clients have been asking great questions to make informed choices about the best time to buy and sell.”

FAAR Installs 2018 Leadership Team

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) hosted its annual Changing of the Guard Installation Dinner on December 7, 2017 at the Old Silk Mill in downtown Fredericksburg.  Incoming President Kevin McGrath and his leadership team were installed by Boomer Foster, president of general brokerage for Long & Foster Real Estate.

Several awards were also given out, including:

Affiliate of the Year:
The 2017 Affiliate of the Year award was presented to Stephanie Lyles of NSWC Federal Credit Union.

 Silver Circle Awards
This award is presented to members who have attained 25 years of continuous membership in FAAR.  Joining the Silver Circle in 2017:

Sandra Stevens, GRI
Coldwell Banker Dew Realty

Robin Marine, CRS, GRI
Coldwell Banker Elite

Jacquelin Fowler
Century 21 Battlefield Real Estate

Kelli Love-Smith
Coldwell Banker Elite

Kemper Weaver
Dockside Realty

Victoria M. Jones
Keller Williams Superior Realty

 Mitch Shumate
Lake Anna Realty

Janet Loraine Kimbrell
Long & Foster Real Estate

Hunter C. Scott
RE/MAX Allegiance

Good Neighbor Award
Anne Overington
Century 21 Redwood Realty

Randy Walther
Visionova Realty Consultants

Spirit Award
Chip Taylor
Century 21 Battlefield

The 2018 FAAR Leadership team is:
President                             Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster Real Estate—Fredericksburg
President-Elect                    Drew Fristoe, Coldwell Banker Elite
Vice President                     Arlene Mason, Coldwell Banker Carriage House
Secretary                             Mark Geslock, Century 21 Redwood
Treasurer                            Carrie Danko, 1st Choice Better Homes and Land, LC
Directors                             Chip Taylor, Century 21 Battlefield
Pam Kuper, Century 21 New Millennium
Sandy Pearce, Coldwell Banker Elite
Laura Fangman, Century 21 Redwood
Ben Keddie, Coldwell Banker Commercial
Clay Murray, Coldwell Banker Elite
Phillip Blake, MBH Settlement Group

Immediate Past President, Linda Fosdick with Dockside Realty, will join the 2018 Leadership Team on the Board of Directors.

October Healthy for Local Real Estate Market

The weather and the real estate market remained warm in October with gains in total sold dollar volume and a large reduction in days on market compared to October of 2016.  An increase in prices buoyed a slight reduction in units sold to keep the market hot well into the autumn.  October of 2017 posted a more than 5% increase in sold dollar volume, coming in at $128,774,826.  Median price was $285,000 for the month, a year-over-year increase of 7.5%.  Units sold fell slightly with a .48% decrease, going from 421 in October of 2016 down to 419 in October of 2017.

Days on market, the amount of time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it has a ratified contract, decreased over 20%, going from 72 days in October of 2016 to 57 days in October of 2017.  Inventory remains low, but there were nearly 17% more listings coming onto the market in October of 2017 than the same time last year.  There were 715 new listings in October of 2017 compared to 613 in October of 2016.  Active listings are down slightly with a 1.78% decrease, coming in at 1,652.  A bright spot in October was the number of new listings coming onto to the market, which is badly needed at this time.

Of the 419 units sold in October, more than half were financed using either a conventional loan or a VA loan.  Nearly 12% of sales were cash purchases, with another 22% FHA financing.  “The market is experiencing a slowdown in homes priced over $300,000 in line with normal seasonal fluctuations heading into the winter months,” commented FAAR Board of Director Pam Kuper.  “Homes priced under $300,000 are still flying off the shelves with our low levels of available inventory.”

Realtors® Mobilize to Protect Tax Benefits of Homeownership

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) joins fellow Realtors® and affiliates from across the country in advocating for the protection of homeownership-related tax provisions during the current tax reform debate.  Proposals being discussed on Capitol Hill would dilute the Mortgage Interest Deduction and the deduction of state and local property taxes.

The loss of these tax benefits could lead to a real estate market adjustment where homeowners could see a loss of 10% or more in their property values.  In addition, taxes would be raised on middle class homeowners at a time when homeowners pay more than 83% of all taxes collected.  Pending tax reform plans threaten to wipe out the tax benefits of owning a home for 95% of American families.

Under the current tax law, homeowners are allowed a deduction for mortgage interest paid.  The deduction is generally allowed for interest paid on mortgage debt of up to $1 million, and is available for interest on mortgages for a principal residence and one additional residence.  The $1 million limitation represents the combined allowable debt on two residences. Mortgage interest on up to $100,000 of debt on home equity loans or lines of credit also qualifies for the deduction.

The United States has a long history of encouraging homeownership in the tax code and any reform must first do no harm to homeowners.  Realtors® are supportive of comprehensive tax reform that simplifies the tax code, but not at the expense of middle class families.

The National Association of Realtors®, representing over 1 million Realtors® nationwide, is working closely with the Trump Administration and the U.S. Congress to advocate for comprehensive tax reform that preserves the benefits of homeownership.

September Market Continues Trend of Consistent Growth in Local Real Estate

The real estate market continued its pattern of consistent growth through September posting increases in sold dollar volume and units sold, and a sizeable decrease in days on market compared to September of 2016.  Sold dollar volume was up 7.77% from last September, increasing to $148,185,156.  A 6% increase in units sold fueled the increase in volume, with 500 homes sold in September of 2017 compared to 471 in September of 2016.  Median price slipped over 3.5%, going from $280,000 in September of last year to $269,900 in September of this year.  “The beginning of September had its usual slow down with school starting,” remarked FAAR Board Member Drew Fristoe.  “The slowdown was prolonged a bit by the uncertainty caused by back-to-back hurricanes, but once that passed, the market picked right back up.”

Days on market, the amount of time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it has a ratified contract, decreased nearly 11%, going from 55 days in September of 2016 to just 49 days in September of 2017.  Inventory continues to be a challenge in our market with yet another month of fewer listings than the previous year.  September of 2016 saw 1,759 active listings on the market and September of 2017 had nearly 1% less at 1,744.  At the current time, there is a 3.55-month supply of available homes, which remains virtually unchanged from August of 2017.  A healthy market generally has about a 5-month supply of homes.

There was a sizeable increase in new listings coming onto the market, with 736 new listings in September of 2017 compared to 658 for the same time last year, representing a nearly 12% increase.  While pending sales overall were down nearly 10% from September of last year, there was a considerable increase in new pendings and new under contracts, which could be a result of good weather encouraging would-be buyers to look at current inventory.  Fristoe continued, “Homes priced under $300,000 and priced well do not last long.  Many homes have multiple offer situations.”

FAAR Congratulates 2017 Parade of Homes Winners

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) would like to congratulate 2017 Parade of Homes Realtors® Choice Award winners.  Over 20 homes competed for the distinction of being “the best home for the value” as decided by a group of more than 20 Realtor® judges in the categories of active adult and single-family home.

The Realtors® Choice Award for Active Adult went to Foundation Homes, The Ashley in River Crossing.  The Ashley has a low HOA fee, beautiful hardwood floors throughout the home, a gourmet kitchen, a great finished upper level, and many lovely upgrades for a price that delivered incredible value.

The Realtors® Choice Award for Single Family went to CalAtlantic Homes, The Washington at the Estates at Kingswood.  The Washington truly checked every box that today’s buyer wants.  The home has a gourmet kitchen with an open floor plan perfect for entertaining, flexible spaces that allow for maximum creativity and accommodation for a family’s needs, walk-in closets in every bedroom, a 3-car garage, a great Trex deck, and a beautifully finished basement.  The clincher for this house was the price and value you receive from the builder.  The price point for all of these features and incentives that would make any client drool really set this house apart.

FAAR added a new element this year with the “FAAR Fan Favorite”, an online vote from all of those Realtors® who got out to view homes on the Parade last week.  The winner of the Fan Favorite was Halsey Homes, the Craftsman at The Oaks at Rocky Run.

All of the homes on the Parade will be open this coming weekend, October 7-8 from 10:00am to 4:00pm.  For more information, visit www.fredparade.com.

POH Award Winners

August Posts a Strong End to the Summer Selling Season

August rounded out the summer market with a strong showing, posting gains in volume of sales, median sold price, and units sold and seeing yet another year-over-year decrease in days on market.  Total sold dollar volume was up over 6% over August of last year coming in at $177,669,921.  Median price was $295,000 for August of 2017, increasing 5.36% over the $280,000 mark in August of 2016.  There were 7 more units sold in August of this year than compared to 2016, coming in at 567 versus 560, representing a modest 1.25% increase.  “The market continued strong through the summer and didn’t experience the typical slump that comes with vacations and back to school activities,” commented FAAR Board of Director Sandy Pearce.

Days on market, the amount of time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it has a ratified contract, decreased nearly 25%, going from 65 days in August of 2016 to just 49 days in August of 2017.  Inventory continues to be a challenge in our market with yet another month of fewer listings than the previous year.  August of 2016 saw 1,763 active listings on the market and August of 2017 had 2.5% less at 1,719.  At the current time, there is a 3.54-month supply of available homes, which remains virtually unchanged from July of 2017.  A healthy market generally has about a 5-month supply of homes.

A bright spot on the inventory side was the significant increase in new listings coming on to the market.  August of 2017 saw a 16.14% increase in new listings, adding 878 new homes compared to 756 in August of 2016.  “Inventory remains low but there seems to be a steady stream of listings coming on the market which is good news for buyers who aren’t facing a time crunch,” continued Pearce.  “Homes that are priced well and in move-in condition are going under contract very quickly. With interest rates remaining low, it could be an active fall for both buyers and sellers.”

9-12-17 August Market Statistics

FAAR Contributes to Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the FAAR Board of Directors approved a $1,500 contribution to the Realtors® Relief Fund to assist storm victims impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The Fund was established to provide needy victims of disasters and their families assistance with housing-related needs arising out of disasters.  The funds can be used for affected relief and rescue workers as well.  The Foundation may elect to provide assistance primarily to victims who are members of the National Association of Realtors®.

If you are interested in donating to the Realtors® Relief Fund, you may click here to access the secure online portal.  There are many local and national charities and businesses collecting Hurricane Harvey relief funds, Charity Navigator is a good place to research charities and learn more about their services.

 

Hot Local Housing Market Continues into July

Fredericksburg, VA (August 11, 2017) The following analysis of the Fredericksburg, Virginia area housing market has been prepared by the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® based data provided by Bright MLS (formerly MRIS). 

The temperature wasn’t the only thing heating up during the dog days of summer, with the local real estate market posting another month of increasing sales, median price, and units sold coupled with decreasing days on market.  Total sold dollar volume was up 14.15% compared to July of 2016 coming in at $196,474,044.  This increase was fueled by a more than 9% increase in median sold price and a nearly 8% increase in units sold compared to the same time last year.  In July of 2016, the market saw a median sales price of $275,000.  That price increased to $301,000 in July of 2017.  Units sold came in at 578 in July of 2016 compared to 622 in July of 2017.  “This is an interesting time in real estate,” stated FAAR 2017 President-Elect Kevin McGrath.  “Offices are busier than they have been in quite a while.  A lot of new agents are finding themselves getting busier much more quickly than new agents in the past.”

Days on market, the amount of time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it has a ratified contract, decreased over 13%, going from 53 days in July of 2016 to just 46 days in July of 2017.  “If a property is priced right, within 20 minutes of it going active in the Multiple Listing Service is seems like agents are setting up showings,” commented McGrath.

Inventory continues to be a challenge in our market with yet another month of fewer listings than the previous year.  July of 2016 saw 1,815 active listings on the market and July of 2017 had 4.9% less at 1,726.  At the current time, there is a 3.56-month supply of available homes, a healthy market generally has about a 5-month supply of homes.

While sellers are putting their homes on the market more than last year, it isn’t enough to keep pace with demand.  July saw a 3.45% increase in new listings with 839 added to the market in 2017 compared to 811 in July of 2016.  “Rising prices are due to a lack of inventory,” continued McGrath.  “We need sellers to list their homes in greater numbers than we’re seeing to satisfy the increasing demand in the market.”

FAAR to Host Candidate Interviews for Local Elections

On Tuesday, August 22, 2017, the FAAR Public Policy Committee will interview candidates running for local office including seats in the General Assembly and local Boards of Supervisors.  Each candidate is sent a candidate survey to gather information on where the individual stands on issues such as transportation, growth policies, and taxes.  While the Committee members’ main goal is to get to know the candidate and whether they will be supportive of the real estate industry, the interview also serves as a great opportunity for the candidates to learn more about FAAR and the concerns of our members.

The interviews are open to the entire FAAR membership, but only those members who serve on the Public Policy Committee are permitted to ask questions of the candidates.  The Committee will go into executive session after the interviews have concluded and decide who, if anyone, to endorse in each seat that had a candidate the group interviewed.  This process is a great way to establish a relationship with new elected officials from the beginning.  The candidate interview schedule is published below, please RSVP to Kim McClellan at kmcclellan@faarmembers.com if you would like to attend the interviews.

Interview Schedule

Morning Session

8am:  Cindy Shelton (Stafford County Board of Supervisors, Aquia District)

8:30am:  Nelson Gentry (Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors, Berkeley District)

9:00am:  Open

9:30am:  Chris Yakabouski (Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors, Battlefield District)

10am:  Kevin Marshall (Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors, Berkeley District)

10:30am:  Cathy Binder (King George County Board of Supervisors, Shiloh District)

11:00am:  Greg Cebula (Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors, Berkeley District)

 

Afternoon Session

3:30pm:  Greg Bundrick (Stafford County Board of Supervisors, Falmouth District)

4:00pm:  Mark Dudenhefer (Stafford County Board of Supervisors, Garrisonville District)

4:30pm:  Yolanda Rousell (Stafford County Board of Supervisors, Aquia District)

5:30pm:  Meg Bohmke (Stafford County Board of Supervisors, Falmouth District)

6:00pm:  Laura Sellers (Stafford County Board of Supervisors, Garrisonville District)

6:30pm:  Joshua Cole (House of Delegates, District 28)

7pm:  Bob Thomas (House of Delegates, District 28)

Realtors® Advocate for New Laws to Protect Private Property Rights

Virginia Realtors® fought for several news laws during the 2017 General Assembly session to protect private property rights that will go into effect on July 1, 2017. Each year, the Realtor® organization advocates for legislation at the General Assembly to support the real estate industry, protect private property rights, and encourage homeownership.

In the 2017 General Assembly session, Realtors® helped enact laws that impact property management. New laws provide for a smoother transition for an existing tenant in the event of a property foreclosure by allowing the property management agreement to continue in place on a month-to-month basis and clarifying to whom the tenant pays their monthly rent. In addition, a new law also allows for an easier process for a property manager to transfer a security deposit to the owner and codifies in statute the common practice of a lease continuing month-to-month after a foreclosure.

In addition, Realtors® advocated for the passage of a new law that prohibits a homeowners’ association from restricting for lease and for signs unless that provision is included in the association’s covenants and restrictions. The new law also prevents an association from requiring a formal power of attorney from a real estate licensee to represent their client before the association. The bill also imposes a fine of up to $1,000 for associations failing to provide the association disclosure packet within the 14-day requirement stipulated by law.

Finally, Virginia Realtors® fought for a law that changes the name of the “red-flag” disclosure statement to the “buyer to beware” statement. This is more representative of what the statement actually is in practice, since the onus is on the buyer to investigate whether the issues raised in the buyer to beware statement are actually applicable to the property in question.
The Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors® is already working on assembling a packet of issues for consideration in next year’s General Assembly session that will support the real industry and protect private property rights.

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