Market The real estate market for 2017 overall continued to be strong both regionally and nationally. Housing prices have rebounded since the market struggles in the past several years, and 2017 saw fewer foreclosures nationally. Let’s take a look with Prime Location Realty’s 2017 market recap:

2017 Market Recap: National Trends

Nationally, the market saw foreclosure activity drop below pre-recession levels. In the first six months of 2017, properties with foreclosure filings were down 20 percent from the same time period in 2016. In April, U.S. foreclosure activity had dropped to its lowest level since November 2005. REO properties totaled 169,124 nationwide in the first half of 2017, down 14 percent from a year ago. Based on nationwide statistics, banks in most markets are starting to reduce their REO portfolios, as Q3 saw foreclosure activity at an 11-year low.

“Zombie” properties are on the decline as well. Investors are finding a healthy but competitive market for buying and flipping these homes for a healthy profit, as inventory nationwide is shrinking and homes that have been rehabbed are increasingly attractive. As inventory is shrinking, investors and buyers are becoming interested in “off-market” properties that aren’t on MLS, but may be available to buy if the owners are offered the right price. If you are looking to sell a property you haven’t listed yet, putting out feelers for this type of purchase could be lucrative.

West Virginia’s 2017 Market Recap:

State-wide, 1 in every 8,553 homes is in foreclosure. Percentage of vacant homes statewide is 15.76%. Eastern Panhandle counties’ foreclosure rates are as follows:

  • Jefferson County – 1 in every 4,429
  • Berkeley County – 1 in every 3, 467
  • Morgan County – 1 in every 4,879

Homes in foreclosure (updated data – foreclosure numbers do not include bank-owned and auction)

  • Jefferson County – Out of 233 homes for sale currently, 49 are in foreclosure.
  • Berkeley County – Out of 488 homes for sale currently, 125 are in foreclosure.
  • Morgan County – Out of 86 homes for sale currently, 26 are in foreclosure.

These numbers represent a change from last year, and are essentially in keeping with the national trends overall.

Looking ahead:

As we mentioned previously, employment prospects are looking up with the opening of new Amazon Distribution Center in Frederick County, a Proctor & Gamble manufacturing facility in Berkeley County, and the expansion of the Navy Federal Credit Union (Winchester) and FBI facility all in the region in the next few years. Michelle Garrett, owner and principal broker of Prime Location Realty REO states, “The market is very strong here in the Eastern Panhandle and values are increasing.”

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