The mass migration to Floyd County is slowing, crippled by a bursting housing bubble in urban markets and a general slowing of the economy.
County Realtors tell me houses for sale in Floyd County stay on the market longer, sometimes as long as a year, and that prospective sellers, for the first time in recent memories, must reduce their asking prices to sell.
Lydeanna Martin, Floyd County’s director of economic development and tourism, reports that approval of new housing plats is running far behind the record paces of 2004 and 2005.
The New York Times reports today that the market for second homes is in a slump. John M. Berry, a columnist for Bloomberg News Service, wrote last month that the housing slump has federal officials worried.
Browse Realtor.Com for houses in the area and you will see a number of listings that say “price reduced.”
If the housing bubble has truly burst, it was long overdue. When we sold our condo in Arlington in November 2004 home values in the Washington, DC, area were rising at $10,000 a month. We had three offers on the first day our property listed and sold it in two days for several times what we paid for it in 1984. Our neighbors criticised us for not holding our for even more but we made a good profit with enough money to buy a nice home here and still have some left over.
The young couple that bought our condo gutted it and spent a considerable amount of money refurbishing it in the hopes of flipping the property for a tidy profit but the market flattened right after we left and they ended up renting 1,320 square feet of space for $3,500 a month plus condo fee.
I ran into a couple from Boston in Cafe del Sol a couple of weeks ago and they said the housing market in that area was in shambles with prices falling and homes on the market for a year or more.
It had to happen. No boom lasts forever. While it is bad news for those who want to sell their homes and move to a more tranquil lifestyle like the one we have here in Floyd County, it is good news for those of us who worried about being overrun with urban escapees.