Western Loudoun Housing Overview 2011 02Posted: March 24, 2011
Western Loudoun Market Sales Stronger Than You Think
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(Purcellville, VA) – Unlike Loudoun County as a whole, the western portion that includes Middleburg, Purcellville, Round Hill, Hamilton, Lovettsville and Waterford, saw increasing sales in the last two years. In 2008, Western Loudoun had 465 sales; that jumped to 492 in 2009 and to 510 in 2010. However, the annual median sales price fluctuated. It was $410,000 in 2008, $390,000 in 2009 and back to $410,000 in 2010. So far in 2011, 66 homes have sold in the area at a median sales price of $399,000.
Total sales in the first two months of 2011 outperformed sales in the same period last year. Preliminary results indicate that sales increased 6 percent compared to revised January figures and 21 percent compared to last February. It is interesting that the February 2010 blizzards didn’t significantly affect Western Loudoun sales as they did elsewhere.
The February median sales price in Western Loudoun declined to $390,000 from $409,000 in January (-5 percent). However, at this time last year, the median was $385,000 (+1 percent). Since January 2010, the lowest monthly median sales price was $346,916 (May 2010) and the highest was $445,000 (August 2010).
By individual market, sales in Round Hill topped the list with 12 units in February while there was only one sale in Waterford. The median sales prices vary widely by area; the median in Waterford was $620,000. Compare that to the median in Hamilton ($249,978).
To further exemplify the differences among the individual markets in Western Loudoun, consider the highest share of sales so far in 2011 by area:
- Middleburg: 25 percent of 2011 sales priced $600,000 to $799,999
- Purcellville: 50 percent of 2011 sales priced $400,000 to $599,999
- Round Hill: 35 percent of 2011 sales priced $200,000 to $399,999
- Hamilton: 29 percent of 2011 sales priced less than $200,000
- Lovettsville: 27 percent of 2011 sales priced $200,000 – $399,999
- Waterford: 33 percent of 2011 sales priced over $1,000,000.
According to Purcellville-based real estate consultant, Rosemary deButts, “The prevailing trend over the last five years has been away from higher-end properties. In 2007, only 1 percent of Western Loudoun sales had prices less than $200,000; by 2011 that share of total sales jumped to 11 percent. Conversely, the share of 2007 sales priced above $1,000,000 was 10 percent; the share is 4 percent in 2011.”
Houses in Western Loudoun typically take much longer to sell than those in other areas of the county. For example, the average days on market in Western Loudoun during February 2011 was 167 days, up from 136 days in January (+23 percent) and 109 last February (+54 percent). In Eastern Loudoun, homes sold in 70 days on average in February while the average was 87 days in Leesburg. Since January 2010, the lowest average in Western Loudoun occurred last July (60 days). However, it was flat or increased every month since then. Like sales totals, the days on market indicator also varies significantly by individual market. In Hamilton, the average was 68 days in February but it was 348 days in Middleburg.
The average close price to original list price ratio may reflect two things: the seller’s ability to accurately price their homes to match market conditions and/or their willingness to negotiate price. The ratio exceeded 90 percent in nine months of 2010 but was 88 percent in January and 76 percent in February 2011. Round Hill’s low average (64 percent) was the result of one property that was originally priced above $8,000,000 that sold in February for significantly less, $4,500,000. Hamilton posted the highest ratio, 98 percent.
Since January 2010, townhouse sales ranged from 4 percent to 20 percent of the total sales in Western Loudoun. Condominiums are not a factor. The average price for townhouses in February was $239,667 and the average price for detached homes was $609,337.
Short sales and foreclosures (distressed sales) still represent about one quarter of the total sales in Western Loudoun. After reaching a high of 50 percent of total sales in February 2010, the share of distressed sales fell to 22 percent last July but advanced to 38 percent in February 2011. There were no distressed sales in Middleburg or Waterford this year through the end of February while 75 percent of the year-to-date sales in Hamilton were distressed (three of four).
Rosemary deButts further commented, “The general perception is that Western Loudoun was a tougher sell than closer-in communities, especially during the housing downturn, but sales figures do not support that theory. There is every reason to expect 2011 annual sales to increase as they have over the last two years.” ###
Rosemary deButts is a REALTOR® associated with Atoka Properties in Purcellville, Virginia. She serves as the housing analyst for the Virginia Association of REALTORS® and is certified by the National Association of REALTORS® as a Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource. With a long career in the housing industry, she is also a Member, Institute of Residential Marketing (MIRM), a new homes marketing designation issued by the National Association of Home Builders. For more information and historical context on the Western Loudoun housing market, please visit www.housinganalyst.net. For an analysis of your home’s marketability, call Rosemary today.