Now that the first half of the year is behind us, I thought I'd take a look at homes sales in the Blacksburg/Christiansburg/Radford area a little bit more. At the beginning of the month, in the Absorption Rate post, I showed how every market studied has seen Days On Market go down, along with the average sales price, except for Blacksburg - which has actually gone UP in value nearly 5%. For the chart below, I used Average Sales Price, but to dig in and look at the real strength of the market it's probably best to look at Median Sales Price.
The Average Sales Prices shown above accurately reflect the homes that have sold, but they don't reflect the trending nature of the market. To do that, I went back and looked at January - June sales that occured between 2004 and 2008. In order to accurately the trend, I looked at residential homes (detached, condos and townhomes) that sold in Blacksburg, Christiansburg or Radford during that period and graphed them based on the median sales price of all the homes sold.
Based on those figures, you can see sharp increases between 2004 and 2006, when the market was really hot. These were definitive Seller markets, with multiple offers commonplace. Between 2006 and 2007 we saw a shift back toward more balance, and even a Buyer market in some areas. The plateau that exists between 2007 and 2008 is likely just that - a plateau. My analysis is that while we might see a sag in the market continue, with little to no appreciation for several more months, we aren't likely to see the decline, month over month, that many other markets have felt.
Just for fun, I also looked at the number of homes sold during the same period. A similar pattern, although a decline between 2007 and 2008. It'll be interesting at the end of the year to see where that ends up.
Truth be told, I doubt that we'll know the real ramifications of the current market until after the November elections. It's likely that we'll need be in the spring of 2009 that, with the administration in place, and the shakedown of the bailout - er government support - of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac complete we'll know the real story.
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