Winchester City, VA Days on the Market An Indicator of Market Health

Mike Cooper's picture
Winchester VA City Hall

A lot can be learned about a real estate market by looking at the number of days a property sits on the market. If a property is on the market for over 100 days, that's an indicator that something is wrong. That doesn't mean there is something wrong with the home. It may be with another aspect of the sale.

There is a macro market and a micro market. In the macro market, the broad economy impacts the local market. There may be pockets that are not affected by the macro economy, but most areas will sense some level of cause and effect when the macro economy takes a turn up or down.

The micro economy is local. In the Winchester / Frederick County real estate market the macro market affect caused a 33% drop in property values in the 2008-2009 downturn. Over the years that followed, properties have recovered some, but they are still no where near the prior values.

One of the indicators of a healthy local market is the days on the market. There are four basic keys that get homes sold in a reasonable amount of time. They are, price, condition, showing availability and location. If those four things are all positive, a house should sell within 60 days if the micro market is healthy. If a house lingers 100+ days, one of the four keys is likely to be violated if the macro market is healthy.

In the Winchester / Frederick County real estate market, the second highest number of sales for January - February 2015 has been in the 0 -14 days on the market. That's a good indicator that the four keys were used effectively. The disappointing issue in the local market is that the highest number of days on the market has been highest number of sales.

With a 186 sales in the first two months of 2015, 32% have been the market more than 100 days. Which key was violated? It's hard to say without seeing each property individually, but it's likely that one stood out as the problem. The second highest selling group was the 0 - 14 days group with 23.9% of total sales. That's encouraging. That would indicate that the properties were priced well and easy to show. Even properties that are not in good condition, or they are in a bad location will sell quickly if the price is right.

If the four keys are all working together, we get to that 0 -14 group. Anything 60 days or below is a positive indicator for the local market. The local market still have 54% of sales over 60 days. The length of time may be situational. A property may be extremely rural, or it might be near a busy highway or it might be a design that is not in demand.

Mike Cooper is a real estate agent in Winchester, VA. If you have any questions about this story he can be contacted via email or at his website at Winchester Virginia Real Estate.

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Yes days on the market can be an influence. However, sometimes there are unrealistic sellers who want as close to asking as possible and they just haven't accepted any offers.

Days on the market are the strongest indicator of a good market. We are still over 90 days average and absorption rate of 7-8 months. I am sure as summer approaches your will be less and mine too.

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