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Kathryn Murray, associate broker
Tiffany Realty LLC
130 Rappa Point Road
Warsaw, VA 22572
Cell: 804-450-4442
Fax: 877-295-0940
Quick market assessment on March 23

Earlier in the year I noted that we were lagging behind in sales in 2016 (compared to the same timeframe in 2015). Hoping that the bad weather was mostly the cause for that I wanted to look at the more broad brush perspective on where we stand at the moment. Truly late in March isn't exactly a clear indicator of what will occur for the balance of the year. Still we're almost 1/4th of the way through the year and this is how things are looking today. It may well be telling us something.

The numbers below are for the four counties of the Northern Neck: Westmoreland, Northumberland, Lancaster and Richmond. This is for the dates of 1/1 through 3/23 for the respective years. Also included are the "Actives" for each category.

All residential properties, 1/1 through 3/23

  2015 2016 Active
# sold 77 81 714
$ sold (Millions) 22.6 21.8 304.7
Median sales price 219,000 180,000 329,050
Median days on market 215 223 224.5

These numbers provide us with a mixed result. If you think the number of properties sold is the key indicator, then 2016 is an improvement (81 versus 77). One needs to balance that fact (4 properties more in 2016) with the fact that the median sales price is down in 2016 and as a result so are the total dollars. The median days on market is up slightly in 2016 but nothing that is cause for concern. There's still plenty of inventory and the median sales price for the actives is considerably above what is selling (329,050 active, versus 180,000 for 2016 sold). So much as the article in yesterday's Times Dispatch focused on how little inventory there is and how much demand (this from the National Association of Realtors) we all know that each market is a local phenomena. Our market does not have a tight inventory. Our market has a generous inventory....and that probably is an understatement.

All land properties, 1/1 through 3/23

  2015 2016 Active
# sold 27 16 868
$ sold (Millions) 2.2 1.2 129.2
Median sales price 39,000 37,250 77,900
Median days on market 226 274.5 416

The residential market looks to be about on the same track in 2016 as it was in 2015. That isn't good news, but it isn't bad news either. In regard to the land inventory I'd say that there is a pretty clear indicator that this year shows a slowdown.....With just 16 properties sold in the almost three months and 868 out there as active, well that's quite a hurdle for  a seller. The number of properties sold and the dollars sold is down in 2016. Also down is the median sales price and the median days on market has climbed considerably from 2015. Land is still challlenged. We knew that. We just didn't have the latest numbers and now we do. Back to that phrase you've seen before...."you have to be the best of the best in your specific category of land sale in order to be in the running." Just being vaguely on the market without understanding your position and your odds is not effective in my mind. Too much competition.

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