Page County’s housing market continues to grow despite low inventory

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Home Sales

By Randy Arrington

LURAY, Jan. 13 — In terms of home sales in Page County, 2019 was considered a “banner year” with 191 homes purchased. Then 2020 became a record year, with 233 sales marking a 22-percent increase over the previous 12 months. Then, in 2021, home sales in the county grew another 16 percent, with 270 homes sold.

In the first quarter of 2021, the number of available homes for sale in Page County dipped as low as 13, according to local realtor Bill Dudley. At the midway point, there were 31 houses on the market. Currently (in early January), there are 28 active residential listings in the county, with 29 others under contract/pending.

During the summer, the 31 houses on the market represented about a six-week inventory, according to Dudley, who said at the time the local market was “absorbing about 20 houses a month.”

“The [inventory] has stayed down lower than I’ve ever seen it,” Dudley said in late summer. “Normally, we would have 75 to 80 houses on the market.”

With reduced inventory, demand drove down and the average number of days that properties sat on the market — from 96 days in 2020 to just 36 days in 2021. The median number of days on the market fell from 32 a year ago, to just 10 days over the past 12 months.

The real win for property owners looking to sell has been the 12-percent average increase in value. The average sale price of a home in Page County rose about $30,000 — from $237,917 in 2020, to an average of $267,531 in 2021. The median sale price increased by the same margin (12 percent), from $215,000 to $240,000.

One of the telling factors about the current real estate clientele is the 52-percent increase in homes sold in the county with a value of more than $250,000 — from 83 sold in 2020, to 126 in 2021. The urban exodus driven by the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a factor in the Page County real estate market with its proximity to densely-populated northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and southern Maryland.

“People are coming out of the city,” Dudley said in early August, noting a more affluent buyer. “They don’t have to go to a brick-and-mortar office any more, and they are looking for a more rural setting.”

Over the past decade, the fourth-highest year for home sales came in 2016 (behind 2019, 2020 and 2021), with 177 homes sold. The low point came in 2010 on the heels of a recession, with only 99 homes sold.

In 2019, the county saw more homes sell for a higher average price over fewer days on the market than at any point in the previous decade. That same year also produced the highest number of homes selling for more than $250,000 than at any time in the previous 16 years. The last two years — amidst a pandemic — have exceeded all of those marks.

~ Current data for this article was taken from Bright MLS, the primary Multiple Listing System for Page County, and it was provided by Bill Dudley & Associates Real Estate Inc. in Luray, Va.

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Annual 12-month comparisons

for home sales in Page County, Va.

Homes sold

163 — 2018

191 — 2019

233 — 2020

270 — 2021

Average Sale Price

$173,272 — 2018

$203,941 — 2019

$237,917 — 2020

$267,531 — 2021

Median Sale Price

$159,900 — 2018

$185,000 — 2019

$215,500 — 2020

$240,000 — 2021

Average days on market

143 — 2018

109 — 2019

96 — 2020

36 — 2021

Median  days on market

66 — 2018

54 — 2019

32 — 2020

10 — 2021

Sales $250,000+

26 — 2018

44 — 2019

83 — 2020

126 — 2021

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