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It’s Easy To Lose Track of Several Hundred Million Dollars

Within the Harrisonburg/Rockingham  market area commercial real estate is comprised of thousands of properties, held by thousands of investors (business, individual, or otherwise), representing total value of hundreds of millions of dollars. As you can imagine, such large investments, and their performance, have a pretty dramatic impact on the local economy. So it would stand to reason that sophisticated tracking devices would be implemented to gauge the overall health of the local market (after all, it’s done for residential real estate). Sadly, as I scoured the area to find this information, I found instead that it did not exist. Really, it didn’t.

Without question, there is some information available. Assessments, for example, provide us with a general idea of property values for specific communities, properties, and the market overall; but, this really does not tell us anything about performance (hence, the title of this post).

So many questions were left unanswered like…

  • What was the differential between asking price and selling price in 2007?
  • What is it today and how many days on the market will it take to get this price?
  • What does a commercial property, on average, cost per square foot?
  • Has this been going up or down over the last several years?
  • Are more or less properties selling today than last year and what does this mean for the commercial market in Harrisonburg?

And there were many more questions.

So I started to compile data, reviewing every sale from the past four years, and I put that data into a fancy spreadsheet so I could begin to answer some of these questions.

I hope this information will become more sophisticated over time. The goal is to provide a comprehensive source of data for the Harrisonburg market while at the same time helping subscribers and clients identify trends that may help in making effective business decisions. This exercise will be in addition to previous and ongoing efforts to track and analyze data related to commercial real estate in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham market.  I hope this information will become more sophisticated over time.

A final disclaimer: Like most quarterly data this will be subject to wild swings. As the data is tracked longer a moving average will be developed for the purpose of smoothing out the quarterly volatility.