Page County’s housing market slowing in some ways, still growing in others

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Home Sales

~ PVN staff report

LURAY, July 19 — After three years of steady and often robust growth, the Page County housing market is showing some signs of slowing down a little through the first half of 2022, but the low supply/high demand dynamic of the industry is still driving sales prices up and days on the market down.

In the first half of 2022, the number of homes sales in the county fell slightly from 126 last year (over the first six months) to 121 this year. This almost negligible difference (down 4 percent) could be credited to several factors, but most noticeably is a shrinking inventory — an ongoing issue for at least the last 18 months to two years, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to raise demand in rural areas as urban dwellers sought to escape more populated areas.

Last year’s housing market showed stronger sales in the second half of the year, and the same is expected this year as new construction begins to pick up, especially around the county seat of Luray.

Despite the number of sales falling slightly over the first six months, Page County’s housing market saw improvement in almost every other area. The average sale price of a home in the county rose from $261,576 in the first half of 2021, to $289,529 in the first six months of 2022 — an increase of 11 percent.

The median sale price rose 13 percent — from $233,915 last year, to $265,000 this year.

Over the last three-and-a-half years, the average sale price of a home in Page County has risen 51 percent. In 2018, the average home sale was $173,272.

On the upper end of the market, the number of homes sold in Page County valued at $250,000 or more increased an incredible 31 percent in 2022 over the first half of last year. There were 68 high-end homes sold in the last six months, compared to 52 in the first half of 2021. Only 26 homes of this value were sold in 2018.

The sellers market of low inventory and high demand has driven quicker home sales, as the average cumulative days on the market in Page County has dropped from 49 to 32 (down 35 percent) comparing the first six months, year-to-year. The median cumulative days on market dropped from 10 to eight. In 2018, a seller in Page County had to wait an average of 143 days for a buyer.

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.

By year’s end, Page County’s home sales will come close to that mark. They will likely fall a little short of last year; however, 2022 sales could also potentially exceed last year by a few — but it seems certain that the double-digit growth seen in recent years is over unless inventory dramatically increases.

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 provided by Bill Dudley & Associates Real Estate Inc. in Luray, Va.

•••

Annual 12-month comparisons

for home sales in Page County, Va.

Homes sold

163 — 2018

191 — 2019

233 — 2020

270 — 2021

121 — 2022 (first 6 mo.)

Average Sale Price

$173,272 — 2018

$203,941 — 2019

$237,917 — 2020

$267,531 — 2021

$289,529 — 2022 (first 6 mo.)

Median Sale Price

$159,900 — 2018

$185,000 — 2019

$215,500 — 2020

$240,000 — 2021

$265,000 — 2022 (first 6 mo.)

Average days on market

143 — 2018

109 — 2019

96 — 2020

36 — 2021

32 — 2022 (first 6 mo.)

Median  days on market

66 — 2018

54 — 2019

32 — 2020

10 — 2021

8 — 2022 (first 6 mo.)

Sales $250,000+

26 — 2018

44 — 2019

83 — 2020

126 — 2021

68 — 2022 (first 6 mo.)

•••

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