Rappahannock News staff
The just ended year of 2016 was the best real estate market in the last eight years for the combined Piedmont counties of Rappahannock, Fauquier, Madison and Culpeper.
In aggregate, raw land transactions increased for the year. Rappahannock and Fauquier were up 74 percent and 41 percent respectively, according to a year-end real estate transactions report compiled by Adam Beroza of Sperryville-based Cheri Woodard Realty.
Specifically, in Rappahannock County land sales, 33 properties sold in 2016 as compared to 19 properties in 2015.
“Virtually every segment of the land market was up this year especially lots between 25 to 50 acres,” said Beroza, who compiled the report from MRIS (Metropolitan Regional Information Systems) figures. “There were two sales of lots over 100 acres. The most notable was the 600 acre plus farm on the F.T. Valley Road that sold for $3.9 million.
“Last year, there was only one sale of that size,” he pointed out.
As for single home sales, Beroza described Rappahannock as “a small market with about 70 residential properties changing hands each year. In 2016, 77 properties sold which is down from 83 in 2015. The first three quarters of 2016 were slow but robust sales in the 4 th quarter made up for the lackluster activity early in the year.
“As a result, there was a 6 percent increase in dollar sales in Rappahannock County,” he said.
The bulk of the market, according to the compilation, is in the middle ranges of $250,000 to $1,000,000. The average property sold increased to $436,330 in 2016. But much of the increase is due to the sale of two properties in the million-dollar-plus category.
Last year, the average price was only $380,879, which was fairly consistent with the previous two years.
As for all four counties combined, Beroza said: “With increased sales of homes, land and commercial property, the number of transactions were up 9 percent and dollar sales were up 10 percent as compared to 2015.”
The agent said Madison County had the largest growth in the number of residential transactions — up 22 percent from the previous year — although total sales were up only 10 percent.
“This is a function of more lower priced properties selling,” he explained.
Fauquier and Culpeper Counties were up 8 percent and 7 percent respectively in the number of transactions with a corresponding growth in total dollar sales. Rappahannock actually had fewer residential transactions last year than in 2015, but total dollar sales were up 6 percent.