As the weather finally cools a little, and we come to the close of the housing market’s most active season, let’s take a few minutes for a look back at the summer’s market and compare our community’s trends to national and regional trends.
Nationally, new home sales are down slightly, but the Southern region is bucking that trend. Only 14% of national home sales were new construction– that’s down 1% from 2017. But in the South overall, the trend is reversed, with 19% of sales going to new construction. In Lynchburg specifically, we are slightly closer to the national trend at 15.9% of homes built later than 2000.
And according to Neighborhood Scout, our highest property value appreciation has occurred in the beautiful historic neighborhoods in our downtown, including City Center, 12th Street, and Grace Street. Perhaps the romance of DIY and old home renovations is still influencing people’s buying decisions!
The median length of time homes stay on the market is still holding steady from last year at 3 weeks, nationally. 60% of homes were on the market for less than a month. Throughout the South, the average time on the market was four weeks, and Lynchburg is tracking right along with that at an average of 33 days on the market. Excellent news for the impatient seller, and just another sign the market is growing steadily and consistently.
The median home price nationwide is $250,000, with the South only lagging by $10K, at a median of $240,000. In Lynchburg our median is about $190,000, but within the context of our cost of living, which is at 88% of the national average, these numbers still show us on trend overall. And good news for sellers; houses are typically selling for about 99% of the asking price, or 90% in the South. Sellers are making a median profit of $55,500 more than their original purchase price. The average home owner has a home equity of about 29% at the time of sale. In addition, 33% of sellers negotiated their sale with only one price reduction. All this indicates that real estate is still one of the best investment options out there.
In general this year, the market continues to belong to the seller, with inventories low, prices slowing only moderately, and relatively short wait times, from listing to sale. Next time, we’ll take a look at the market from a buyer’s point of view. Spoiler alert; it’s really looking quite green on that side of the fence, too!