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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Positive news from housing sector

The May housing data for the Fredericksburg area show some very positive signs that the sector is beginning to improve. Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc. released its May data this morning. The Fredericksburg area comprises the city and Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties. Though the data show that the market is nowhere near the boom year of 2004-2006, they also indicate that perhaps things are starting to improve. Below are some of the highlights. See tomorrow’s FLS for more.

  • The median sales price was $210,000. That’s down 22 percent from last May but it’s also the first time the median has gone above $200,000 since January.
  • There were 412 units sold in May, the most since June 2007. The active inventory of listed homes dropped to 2,525, the lowest since February 2006. At that sales pace it would take about six months to clear out the inventory, which is getting very close to what’s considered the sign of a healthy market. One note of caution — there are many homes that are hovering on the brink of foreclosure that haven’t yet hit the market. Also, it’s possible that many people will list their houses once they see signs of a recovery. Both would bump up the inventory levels.
  • Finally, conventional financing was used a little more frequently in May than past months, homes weren’t staying on the market quite as long before selling, and homes were selling on average for less of a discount from list price as in the recent past.

Click here for an Excel sheet that shows all this data. I still need to update the percentage of distressed sales from May.

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