Page County’s housing market remains strong, setting historic highs, despite slowing trend

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Home Sales

~ PVN staff report

LURAY, Jan. 3 — Over the last five years, both the number of homes being sold in Page County and their average sale price have increased by about 70 percent. Urban dwellers seeking more rural accommodations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with an increased ability to work from home and historically low interest rates, have driven up demand; while a limited supply of available single-family homes has fueled higher prices.

Now, with interest rates rising along with inflation and developers trying to increase supply, the housing market’s boon in Page County slowed down in 2022 — and yet, the local market still showed a fourth consecutive year of growth, and in some cases, double-digit growth.

The most modest growth was in the number of homes sold, which only increased by six properties over the last 12 months. A total of 276 homes were sold in Page County in 2022, compared to 270 in 2021 — an increase of just 2 percent. The biggest jump in home sales in the county came between 2019 and 2020, when the figure went from 191 to 233 — an increase of 22 percent — as millions across the country sought to escape urban areas when the pandemic hit.

While it may have only been a small gain over the previous year, the 276 home sales in Page County this past year marks a 70-percent gain over the 163 sales made in 2018. In the recession-driven market of 2010, only 99 homes were sold in the county.

Both the average and median sale price for homes in Page County rose 10 percent this year. The average sale price for 2022 was $294,543 — compared to $267,531 the previous year. Once again, the largest jump in the last five years took place between 2019 and 2020, when the average sale price went from $203,941 to $237,917 — an increase of about $34,000, or 16.7 percent. In 2018, the average selling price of a home in Page County was just $173,272.

The median sale price followed a similar trajectory coming in at $264,000 in 2022, compared to $240,000 in 2021. From 2019 to 2020, it grew from $185,000 to $215,000 — and in 2018, the figure stood at only $159,900.

As would be expected in a local housing market with high demand and low inventory, the average number of days on the market continued to drop, from 36 days in 2021 to just 32 days in 2022. In 2018, the average seller had to wait 143 days before a contract was signed. The biggest drop in this category came between 2020 and 2021, when the average “days on market” for a home sale in Page County went from 96 down to 36.

The median days on market has stood at only 10 days for the last two years. In 2018, it was 66 days.

The number of home sales in Page County over $250,000 increased by 23 percent in the past year, with 155 sales in 2022 compared to 126 in 2021. In 2018, there were only 26.

While the local housing market is showing trends of slowing down from its feverish pace of recent years, it continues to set records for the most sales, the highest prices, and the shortest wait for sellers than at any other time in the history of Page County. Whether the local market will continue to show a moderate, but steady year of growth in 2023, or a slight decrease from historically high numbers, will be mostly determined by supply.

Developers are building, despite continued concerns over the inflated prices of materials, such as lumber and concrete. As supply chain issues get slowly resolved, some materials may see prices get back to more reasonable levels, which could in turn, drive more construction of new homes. Interest rate hikes by the Fed (from historically low rates) will have less affect on home sales, as sellers begin to back off inflated asking prices.

As prices cool and supply potentially increases, home sales could level off somewhat in 2023…as they did in 2022…but even if that happens, they will still be at relatively historic highs.

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

•••

Annual 12-month comparisons

for home sales in Page County, Va.

Homes Sold

276 — 2022

270 — 2021

233 — 2020

191 — 2019

163 — 2018

Average Sale Price

$294,543 — 2022

$267,531 — 2021

$237,917 — 2020

$203,941 — 2019

$173,272 — 2018

Median Sale Price

$264,000 — 2022

$240,000 — 2021

$215,000 — 2020

$185,000 — 2019

$159,900 — 2018

Average days on market

32 — 2022

36 — 2021

96 — 2020

109 — 2019

143 — 2018

Median  days on market

10 — 2022

10 — 2021

32 — 2020

54 — 2019

66 — 2018

Sales $250,000+

155 — 2022

126 — 2021

83 — 2020

44 — 2019

26 — 2018

•••

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