Housing shortage impacting buyers in Augusta County

open house
Photo Credit: travis manley

Housing costs in Augusta County were found to be the second-highest in Virginia, according to a recent study. With home prices going up and inventory going down, it’s no wonder that many buyers are feeling frustrated by the situation. In the last few years, there has been a shortage of housing in Augusta County. This impacts buyers looking for homes to buy and can’t find anything that they like at their price range.

Increased demand

The shortage of available units is due to the increased demand from millennials and baby boomers alike. With many people being priced out of buying a home, it’s important for you as a buyer to be informed about all your options when you’re looking for a place to live.

Last year, the median home price for a single-family house in Augusta County was $257,500. That’s up from the previous year, and it doesn’t look like prices will be coming down any time soon.

Inventory decline and closing price

Part of the reason for such an increase is because inventory has been declining over the past few years. In 2012, there were 12.38 months of inventory available, and in 2016, that number dropped down to just under nine months. What does this mean for buyers? It means if you see something you like, buy it before someone else does.

Another factor is the closing price which has been increasing as well over the past few years. In 2012, the median closing price for a single-family house was $275.500, and in 2021, it went up to $286,600.

Overbidding

With all of these factors at play, there’s no wonder why so many buyers are overbidding on homes as they go into multiple offer situations. While this can be discouraging to buyers trying to get their foot in the door, it’s important to keep your eye on the prize and be prepared for what it takes.

What next?

With many sellers discouraged from entering the market due to various factors, buyers need to be prepared. The best way to do this is by hiring a real estate agent who knows the market and can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Furthermore, this surge and rising demand also led to an increase in construction work, which is where safety issues need to be addressed as the demands of the construction industry are high. The construction of new houses is an important part – i.e. a solution to the housing shortage, but what about the health and safety precautions taken by these workers – especially as they’re trying to complete new projects at an unprecedented speed? Needless to say, it’s definitely something that the construction industry will need to keep an eye on.

Finding a solution

Several ideas have been tossed around as a solution, including things like building more apartment complexes or changing zoning laws to develop condos or townhomes instead of single-family houses. The bottom line is that something needs to be done in Augusta County, and it’s going to take a team effort between buyers, sellers, and the city for things to turn around.

Story by Megan Melwood


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