Recent Activity in Virginia’s Wine and Hunt Country
The regional real estate market has not changed much from the Spring 2018 season. What is apparent, however, as we head into the prime buying season of September, October, and November, is that our market is starting to segregate more clearly along geographic (specifically county) lines. While the market has a whole has not changed much with recent sales, we are starting to see divergences in our localities.
Rappahannock Up, Fauquier Down
The most striking result of recent market trends is that pricier northern Fauquier County has seen some price erosion over the past several months as inventory has stagnated. Neighboring Rappahannock County, on the other hand, has seen rapidly shrinking inventory, with more robust sales (albeit in a much smaller market). While demand has increased for a Rappahannock address, we have not seen any price appreciation there – yet. It’s too early in the season to make any firm predictions, but if, as appears to be the case, that there is no more ‘withheld inventory’ coming on the market in Rappahannock, we can see some price appreciation starting to build in the market come Spring 2019.
The takeaway here is, if you are interested in a property in Rappahannock, now is the time to buy – ahead of rising prices. Locking in now will allow you to build significant equity as prices rise. In northern Fauquier County, it’s still too early to tell, but the message the market may be sending us is to be more aggressive in making offers below asking price. Other Piedmont markets in Madison, Culpeper, and Clarke counties seem to be holding steady.
Of course, these trends are subject to reversal and/or market shifts based on external pressures. But what is telling is that the above referenced trends happened in a Spring market plagued by bad weather. One of the rainiest Springs and Summers on record has suppressed activity in all markets within the region. So, if anything, I expect these market trends to accelerate as crisp Fall days bring buyers out to appreciate the incredible beauty of Virginia’s Hunt and Wine country.