Story by Chris Graham
The housing market in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia continues to see downward momentum.
Sales were down sharply across the region in figures released by the Virginia Association of Realtors for the month of August 2007.
The biggest percentage drop came in the Lexington-Buena Vista market, where only 14 homes were sold in August, down 58.8 percent from the 34 homes sold in August 2006.
For the year through Aug. 31, sales in the Lexington-Buena Vista market are down 34.3 percent, from 213 through Aug. 31, 2006, to 140 through Aug. 31, 2007.
Housing sales in the Charlottesville market were also down sharply – dropping 32.2 percent in the month of August compared to August 2006, with 352 homes sold in August ’07 and 519 sold in August ’06, and dropping 16.6 percent for the year through Aug. 31, with 2,656 homes sold as of that date this year and 3,184 homes sold as of Aug. 31, 2006.
Sales in the Greater Augusta market were down 25.9 percent when comparing the Augusts – with 123 homes sold in August 2007 and 166 homes sold in August 2006 – and down 14.3 percent as of the respective Aug. 31s, with 937 homes sold through that date this year and 1,093 last year.
The Winchester-Front Royal market is also seeing a housing slump – with sales in August 2007 down 15.9 percent from August 2006 (159 homes sold this year, 189 homes sold last year) and sales through Aug. 31 down 22.2 percent (1,234 in 2007; 1,585 in 2006).
The Harrisonburg market is relatively robust in light of the numbers above – with sales for August down 5.2 percent (147 homes sold in August 2007, down from 155 sales in 2006) and sales for the year through Aug. 31 down 12.1 percent (891 homes sold in 2007, 1,014 sold in 2006).
Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.