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Contact Information
Kathryn Murray, associate broker
Tiffany Realty LLC
130 Rappa Point Road
Warsaw, VA 22572
Cell: 804-450-4442
Fax: 877-295-0940
Sales numbers waterfront properties

We've been going great guns this year with sales of waterfront residential properties. That was clearly spelled out in the post I put up around September 1. What I decided to do today was take a look at is how the 6 weeks we've just completed (give or take since I use August 1 through September 13) compares with the same six week period a year ago. I was hoping that it was stonger and I find that it isn't--that it is considerably weaker. I hope this 6 weeks in 2015 doesn't serve as any sort of a predictor of the future. I hope it is just another data point that will move into place to be part of a very successful sales year.

With that said, here are numbers for sales August 1 through September 13 for 2014 and 2015. Below the first chart I've also broken out the numbers at a variety of price points just to see if there are any trends there.

Waterfront res. sales 8/1-9/13 (4 counties)
  2014 2015 Active
# sold 39 26 526**
$ sold (millions) 17.8 11.9 299.5
Median sales price 395,000 437,500 449,000
Median days on market 169 352.5 167

What you can say about this year's sales is that the median price point is up and the median days on market is way way up. It says some long-standing properties...those that have been on the market for a long time.... have finally sold. This is an important step in our market.

**Out of curiosity I went back and looked at the number of actives from previous posts. What I found was that in January there were 404 waterfront residential listings that were active. By mid July that number was 535. Now with a fair number of sales the number is still at 526.

To see what the inventory looks like sometimes you annualize sales to find out what the "absorption rate" is. In appraiser's terms the absorption rate is how long it would take to sell everything we have on the market right now. Looking at the 26 sales we had in six weeks....if we simply multiply that number by 10 to make it easy (which is fairly close)....we see we have at least two years worth of inventory with the 526 (26 x 10=260 then multiply it by 2= 520)....actually a bit more. A fair amount of inventory but we've seen more demanding numbers in the past.

In the charts below we can look at how the above sales breaks out for the different years. First 2014 and then 2015.

2014 wf res. sales broken out by price point (same timeframe 8/1 through 9/13)
  Under $200,000 $200,000 to 400,000 $400,000 to 600,000 $600,000+
# sold 3 15 15 6
$ sold (millions) 445,000* 4.3 6.6 6.4
Median sales price 165,000 290,000 440,000 691,000
Median days on market 134 254 169 140

*not millions

2015 wf res. sales broken out by price point (same timeframe)
  Under $200,000 $200,000 to 400,000 $400,000 to 600,000 $600,000+
# sold 1 10 11 4
$ sold (millions) 132,000 3.0 5.4 3.4
Median sales price 132,000 308,750 489,500 737,500
Median days on market 154 165 355 448

The properties selling at above $400,000 in this time period this year have median days on market of 448. That's a lot of time. And even the $400,000 to $600,000 segment is running close to a year (with 355). Don't know exactly what is going on but suspect that sellers are bringing properties down to meet what they can really sell for. Some people who "really don't need to sell" actually really want to because they have determined their next step and holding on tight to the Northern Neck property waiting for the highest price may not be the best approach. We can't know what people's needs are but by the time they have called in a Realtor the assumption is that it isn't a whim, that there are reasons. 

And a couple of other sets of numbers. These I checked because I was curious. I looked at the price point of Waterfront Residential properties ($400,000 to $500,000) in the four counties in the last 6 months. So the period is 3/13/2015 through 9/13/2015.

There are 18 homes that have sold with an average median sales price of $435,000. Of those, 5 have been in Westmoreland county and all have been older except one. One of those five was originally listed at $675,000 and sold for $450,000. Another one sold for $435,000 when originally listed at $525,000. Those are significant price differentials.

I saw something else this morning while looking at sales information....something that surprised me and then again it really didn't. A high end property that I knew quite well and I knew the owners....well they didn't list with me and sometimes that is a good thing. Sometimes it works well to work with friends and other times, no. You can't get all hung up on whether or not you get this type of listing, otherwise real estate will be an even more difficult pursuit than it already is. Back to the point of all this....I saw the property go on the market with one of the big names. I saw the price and thought....hmmm.....that won't fly. But it wasn't my problem. Recently I saw that it sold and it sold at about 40% below asking price and I'm not talking about original asking price....I'm just saying below current asking price. I thought to myself, well I think I could sell a lot of my listings were the sellers to consider taking 40% below what is being asked. Many of my sellers will hardly consider 10%. This little anecdote is my way of saying, this business isn't simple and what you see may not be what you get. There are a huge number of variables that go into a successful sale and part of it may just be luck. We'd all like to think that we have control over most of what goes on in our lives, but it really isn't simple. When you think your Realtor should have all the answers, start to think about what they are supposed to know. Then think about the economists or other professionals who are supposed to predict things and don't get it right. They have far more at their disposal and believe it not, they are not expected to the expert in a broad number of categories....the list of what Realtors are supposed to know goes on and on. One of these days I'll expound on this, which may or may not interest you. I hope it will.

My last little bit of checking that I did relates to non waterfront residential properties in the same 6 month period in the four counties (3/13 to 9/13). I was curious how many foreclosures there are in that segment. We don't tend to talk about foreclosures in the Northern Neck too much, but they really are out there. Of the 77 properties that have sold in that category in the last 6 months, 18 of them were foreclosures. That's a little bit more than 23 percent. That has been making a real difference in other prices for that group. Wow!!

That's it for today. If you have a question you'd like researched pleae either call or email me, I'd be glad to look into it. --Kathryn (Kathryn Murray, principal broker, 804-450-4442 cell)

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