HARRISONBURG — Home sales in the Harrisonburg metro area cooled off along with the weather last month.
February saw 51 residential sales, one less than the month before and below what brokers were hoping for after seeing signs of recovery for more than a year.
Analysts say the disappointing figures could be the result of frigid and snowy conditions that closed schools and businesses during an already short month, but it’s not clear to what degree weather played a role.
January, for example, had its share of winter weather yet still logged 52 sales, five more than January 2013.
While a stiff drop from 67 sales in February 2013, last month’s figure is still five above the same month in 2012 and 13 higher than February 2011.
According to the latest figures from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors, 103 homes have been sold in the metro area so far this year, down from 114 in the first two months of 2013.
The metro area — which includes the city and Rockingham County — also saw the median sales price drop over the same period.
The median price year to date for 2014 is $165,000, down nearly 5 percent from $173,600 last year, according to data compiled in a report by broker Scott Rogers.
The average price this year is $173,051, down about 7 percent from $186,131.
Whether the latest data signals weakness in the local market or a hiccup in the recovery remains to be seen.
Analysts caution against drawing too many conclusions from small sample sizes, particularly month-to-month fluctuations.
Potential good news for sellers is the average time on the market has dropped nearly 8 percent year to date from 177 days to 163 days.
In a possible negative sign, the number of contracts signed in February was down substantially from the same month the year before, with buyers committing to 75 properties compared to 93 in 2013.
Last month’s weather could have also pushed the figure lower.
Contracts generally turn into sales within a month or two but are not guaranteed.
Contact Jeremy Hunt at 574-6273 or email@example.com