Our company recently did an event called “Ignite Harrisonburg” where we brought together about 140 community leaders to discuss the issues surrounding housing and development and to get an idea of what people really need. 

After we did some quick surveys and came up with a consensus, we found that the central theme was affordability: 66% of people said we needed more single-family homes in the $150,000 to $300,000 price range. 

What’s caused this affordability crisis? It all boils down to three factors:

1. Resale prices are up. This is largely due to dwindling supply and rising demand amongst buyers. Inventory has been tight in all price ranges and that has made things challenging for buyers.

2. There are similar housing needs across demographics. For the first time, millennials and retirees looking to downsize are searching for the same types of properties—starter homes in the $150,000 to $300,000 price range I mentioned above. That’s where the demand is, and that’s where the two largest demographics in the market are both looking.

“We need large-scale development in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range to meet the needs of the larger home buying demographics.”

3. No new residential properties are being built on a large scale. If you see a lot of dirt being moved right now, it’s for either commercial property or student housing, and there are three reasons why this is: land is expensive, building costs are rising, and government restrictions have made construction expensive and difficult. 

What’s the solution to this crisis? There is no easy answer. We’re dealing with a perfect storm that’s led us to this situation. For one thing, we need large-scale development in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range to meet the needs of the larger home buying demographics, which will hopefully start a chain reaction for the other demographics. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic and what our other needs are in Harrisonburg and Rockingham counties, so please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below or click on this link and take a quick survey. Let’s solve this crisis together. 

As always, if you have any other real estate needs, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you at the next Ignite Harrisonburg!