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Virginia homebuyers look to rural communities in 2020

Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 9:26 PM EST
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Home sales this year in Virginia are showing a higher interest in rural living, especially in Rockingham County.

Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist for the Virginia REALTORS, said compared to Oct. 2019, home sales last month were up 51.3 percent in Rockingham County, but only up 3 percent in the City of Harrisonburg.

Home sales statewide were up 28.3 percent in Oct. 2020 compared to Oct. 2019.

As interest in country living increases, Sturtevant said so does the price.

Home sales were up 14.8 percent statewide in October, down 13.7 percent in Harrisonburg, but up 13 percent in Rockingham County.

“Usually sellers list their home hoping they’re going to get [more] but they really get [less],” Sturtevant said. “That list to sold price ratio is approaching 100 percent, meaning that people who list their home for sale are getting what they ask.”

While demand is high, Sturtevant said supply is low and keeps shrinking. Inventory is down 38.5 percent statewide, down 18 percent in Harrisonburg, and down 51.4 percent in Rockingham County.

The COVID-19 pandemic has many homebuyers adding amenities to their wish list that weren’t there before, like a home office.

“Larger outdoor space, for sure," Sturtevant said. "Other things like dedicated space for exercise, for kids schooling, and frankly a bigger footprint, a bigger home, were all mentioned by the realtors we surveyed when they’re working with potential clients.”

While there have been new home construction across Virginia, Sturtevant said homes are not going up fast enough to meet the demand.

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