By John McCaslin
The Rappahannock News
While real estate transactions in Virginia’s Piedmont region were virtually flat (down one-half percent) for the second quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, the market in Rappahannock County remains very strong, with residential sales up an impressive 115 percent and land transactions rising 25 percent.
Madison County had the biggest slowdown in the regional real estate market, with land and home transactions down 42 percent and 37 percent respectively.
Land transactions in Culpeper County were down 33 percent in the second quarter ending in June compared to last year, while home sales rose 3 percent. Fauquier land sales were down 17 percent and home sales up 4 percent.
Adam Beroza, vice president of sales and marketing for Cheri Woodard Realty in Sperryville, culled the Piedmont second quarter data from MRIS, the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc., the nation’s largest multiple listing service. Transactions not closed through MRIS were not included in the figures.
“Twenty-eight [Rappahannock County] residential properties sold in the second quarter of 2017, compared to 13 properties in the same quarter of 2016,” Beroza notes. “Year to date, transactions [in Rappahannock] are up 96 percent. The majority of the growth is in the $250,000 to $500,000 range although there were two sales over $1,000,000 which closed this year.”
At the start of July, there were 110 homes for sale in Rappahannock County, which is about a 17 month supply based on the last 5 years of sales. Sixty-seven of those homes were listed in the last quarter ending in June. The average list price was $669,586 with an average of 263 days on market.
“On average, homes are selling 4 percent below list price,” according to Beroza.
Switching to land sales, 10 properties sold in the second quarter of 2017, compared to eight properties during the same period of 2016.
“Year to date, land sales are up 69 percent,” the agent says. “The vast majority of land sales are in smaller lots under 25 acres, which is unlike historical norms. Over the last eight years, lots over 25 acres have accounted for 55 percent of sales, but this year they are only 36 percent.
“Since there aren’t many smaller lots available in Rappahannock, I expect sales of larger lots to increase in the latter half of the year,” Beroza predicts.
At the start of this month, there were 62 Rappahannock lots on the market, which is roughly a 32 month supply.
As for the entire Washington, D.C. Metro region, the median residential sales price dropped slightly to $455,000 from last month’s record setting $460,000, but it was still the second highest monthly price for the last 20 years. Closed sales of 6,142 were up 3.4 percent compared to last year — setting an all-time high for the decade, according to MRIS figures.
Unlike Rappahannock County, real estate doesn’t remain on the market very long in the D.C. region. The median days-on-market for June 2017 was a mere 12 days, two days lower than last year’s average.