According to the Manassas Journal Messenger,

The big difference seems to be price. At the same time Prince William’s sales statistics were soaring 72 percent, median and average sales prices for homes were falling by 34 percent and 31 percent, respectively. In the second quarter of 2008, the county’s median price for a home was $242,232; in the same quarter for 2007, that number stood at $366,845. For the average, the second quarter numbers in Prince William stood at $275,311 in 2008 and $398,775 in 2007.

In this same time period, meanwhile, Northern Virginia’s home prices only dropped on average 12 percent …

Selling everything at bargain blowout prices can’t be good; especially come next year when the County has to assess residential real estate and set the tax rate again.

13 Thoughts to “MJM: County sees spot of light in housing”

  1. You Wish

    These aren’t “bargin, blowout prices” – these are the prices that the houses should have been selling at years ago. The cost of housing is outrageous in this area. Houses in Fairfax Co. are taking the same hit – houses that would have sold for $600k are going for $450 – it’s all over the nation, not just PWC –

  2. Censored bybvbl

    Are there more houses going to foreclosure each month than there are being sold?

    There are bargain, blowout prices in some zip codes. Other zips are holding up better.


    Houses in FX county are not taking the same hit. It is a much smaller dip that the bomb in PWC. I agree…the split foyers should never have been going for $450K plus, but it is still going to be an adjustment to the county government to collect taxes on homes worth $200K vs. the double they were getting. The tax rate will have to go up substantially.

  4. Moon-howler

    You wish,

    Everything is relative. The problem is, the houses in Pr Wm fell far lower than other houses in other localities. They dropped about 30% in value. Other home values not in PW fell only about 10% on average. Do you think this is in the best interest of the PW Co. economy?

  5. info

    Checking Arrestees Nabs Illegal Immigrants
    Posted 2008-07-29

    Rockingham Deputies Discover 200 Aliens

    By Jeff Mellott

    HARRISONBURG – Since August, Rockingham County sheriff’s deputies have arrested as many as 600 people on various charges who were not born in the United States , according to Rockingham County Sheriff Donald Farley.

    When deputies checked their immigration status, about a third of those arrested were in the country illegally, Farley said Monday.

    The sheriff’s office detected the illegal immigrants through a federal program often referred to as 287(g), which coordinates local law enforcement efforts with those of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Because the county had been participating in the federal program, a new state law requiring jailers check on the status of foreign-born residents will have little impact on the office’s procedures, said Rockingham Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Bruce Folks.

    New Law

    The Virginia law, which went to effect July 1, requires that jailers check with ICE to determine if someone is in the country legally, Folks said. The jailer files the results of the query with the statewide Local Inmate Date System.

    With the adoption of the new law, Folks said, the county began reporting its results on foreign-born inmates to the statewide system instead of ICE.

    The new law does not result in any additional cost to the county, Farley said.

    In Page County , the law’s impact may also be slight.

    Although the Page County Sheriff’s Office does not participate in the 287(g) program, it has been entering information about the arrests of foreign-born residents directly into the statewide data system, said Deputy Capt. Isaac Good.

    Still, Good said more research must be done to determine the effect of the new law there.

    The law, which had the support of the six legislators who represent Harrisonburg and Rockingham County in the General Assembly, was introduced by Del. David Albo, R-Fairfax.

    While the cost of tracking illegals who’ve been arrested may be relatively minor in the Valley, that’s not necessarily the case in at least one Northern Virginia community.

    According a story in The Washington Post on Monday, Prince William County plans to hire 16 deputies to train with ICE in the federal program. The newspaper reports that this will the cost the county about $1.5 million this fiscal year.

    Contact Jeff Mellott at 574-6290 or

  6. You Wish

    Take into consideration other factors, such as the rising cost of gas. I work in FX co. and live near Quantico. I had to buy a smaller car with better gas mileage because I was spending $150 per week in gas to go back and forth to Falls Church each day. If I worked in DC and was relocating to the area – I would be looking at Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, etc based upon gas prices.

    PWC has always been known as a “bedroom community” and with continued traffic problems and the cost of gas, PWC isn’t as appealling as it once was. My hour commute just to Falls Church is enough to make me want to sell my house at a loss and move closer.

    Do I think it’s best for the economy? No – but this was forecasted when the house bubble started. Economists warned that when it burst, it would be incredibly painful. What’s sad is that lenders were giving people who couldn’t afford an expensive house a mortgage at a low rate for 2 – 3 years and then inflating the rate to such that the mortgage was too much to handle. And now we can’t dig anyone out.

    Foreclosures listed in PWC – 3460, Foreclosures in Fairfax – 3404

    Virginia is hardly the worst – US News & World Report has a top ten list –
    Nevada 1 filing per 146 households
    California 1 filing per 204 households
    Arizona 1 filing per 224 households
    Florida 1 filing per 242 households
    Colorado 1 filing per 349 households
    Maryland 1 filing per 380 households
    Georgia 1 filing per 422 households
    Ohio 1 filing per 432 households
    Michigan 1 filing per 440 households
    Massachusetts 1 filing per 539 households

  7. Alanna

    You Wish,
    Read the article,
    Northern Virginia – drop in prices – 12%
    Prince William sales prices dropped 30-34%

    “Take into consideration other factors, such as the rising cost of gas.”
    I made this observation a couple months ago.

    “PWC isn’t as appealling as it once was” – We need to do something to make Prince William a place where people want to live. Having investors swoop in and create endless rentals, is not going to build a better community.

    Don’t believe me, read fellow Republican blogger, who believes ‘there’s something peculiar happening in Prince William County.’

    We can either deny this is happening and then reap the horrific affects next budget cycle or make a change of course before it’s too late.

  8. You Wish

    When I said that “PWC isn’t as appealling as it once was” I meant is that people are wanting to live closer to their work rather than commuting. I did read the article – you also failed to include some information such as:

    Prince William County saw a 72 percent increase in the 1,477 home sales recorded for the second quarter of 2007, and the 2,542 figure reported for the same three-month period in 2008. That’s the highest jump between these two time frames for the 24 Virginia jurisdictions that are included in the report. The Northern Virginia region as a whole, by comparison, saw a 7 percent decline during these same two periods, the report indicates.

    Of course, this shows something positive.

    Why are you so hostile? What do you propose to do to make a change? Who is denying anything? Housing is in a wreck nationwide – as a homeowner, it bothers me a great deal. It bothers me even more that individuals who should never have qualified for huge loans were given them and now we have to bail them out –

  9. We need more large coporations moving in, offering jobs to keep people here. And we need to put these corps. in the right places, places that are ready for large buildings so there doesn’t have to be any more tree-cutting. No more retail jobs–we have enough of those. Bring us more federal agencies and Microns.

  10. You Wish

    “Employment increased by 113 jobs in Prince William County during January and February,” according to the site. “The solid job growth in February provides strong home sales, while historically low mortgage rates should continue to spur sales.”

    It’s already happening –

  11. Moon-howler

    What the article doesn’t say is if the 113 jobs are Prince William County jobs or jobs obtained by Prince William County residents. I expect it is the later, just because of how it is tracked.

    You wish, Apparently you don’t see the building that went on in Gainesville, Bristow, Haymarket, Warrenton and places south. I wouldn’t say PW isn’t as appealing since plenty of people seem willing to still make the trek. I personally think potential home owners should have to sign a codicile or something saying they understand it will take an hour to get from Warrenton to Manassas.

    I find it odd that you came on the blog, posted something that contradicted what Alanna said (which is fine) but then accused her of being hostile. I think you might have the wrong cowgirl.

    The point Alanna is making is that she sees house values dipping 3 times lower for PW houses even if they are selling faster. Looking at the tax base, this spells even more trouble for our tax base and ooooooppppss…eventually our bond rating. Both of us disagree with the MJM’s optimism. We do not think the paper is looking at the big picture.

  12. You wish–

    no one is being hostile–why are you so defensive? You can stick your head in the sand on this if you wish, but the reality is the reality. PWC needs an image make-over, as its not going to be able to ride on the growth and prosperity that was once typical of NOVA. All of the economic factors–gasoline prices, difficulty procuring home loans, and stag-flation are enough to trouble any community. Add the fall out from the anti-immigration crowd (with the associated reputation of intolerance), and there is potential for real disaster.

  13. Moon-howler

    Emma (where ever you are)

    Another bright spot in the day economically.

    I was lurking and read something about gay jokes over here/. Will you refresh my memory, I remember a little but not a lot.

    Rick (where ever you are)

    Well, well, well. It looks like I was NOT wrong about old Rick. You made some very good points. Too bad you didn’t make them here. Were you afraid someone might agree with you? You made your case artfully. Great writing skills. Someone emailed me from vacation to go look. I have taken a lot of slack for defending the good Rick.

    I am glad that part of you still exists.

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