Housing market shows positive signs

The housing market in Central Virginia showed signs of improvement during the third quarter of the year, according to the Richmond Association of Realtors.

Home sales in the region rose 23 percent from the same period in 2010, and pending sales (a strong indicator of final sales) were up 11 percent as compared to the third quarter of 2010.

“The fact that the housing market in 2011 has outperformed the 2010 housing market through the first nine months of the year is amazing, considering that buyers had the inducement of a tax credit to spur their decision making last year and no such inducement exists this year,” said Cheryl Hamm, president of the Richmond Association of Realtors and Central Virginia Regional MLS. “Of course, sales prices continue to lag, but we've known all along that sale price would be the last indicator to turn around."

The main factors dampening the resurgence of home prices are the foreclosure inventory and the economic uncertainty of buyers and sellers, Hamm said.

“The continued presence of foreclosures in the market makes it difficult for sale prices to rebound when the region is viewed as a whole,” she said. “We are seeing some modest price increases in certain neighborhoods; we've even seen some multiple offer situations. In many instances, whether a home is selling and for what price is dependent upon the factors that have always been most important – location, the condition of the home, and the sale price.”

As major banks have resumed with processing foreclosures, an initial foreclosure uptick may be in store, but in the long run this will help promote the movement of foreclosure inventory.

"If positive economic indicators continue to show promise, consumer confidence should also improve, Hamm said.

“Can I predict what the fourth quarter will look like or how 2012 will shake out? No. The fourth quarter is typically seasonally slow, so I would not be surprised if that held true for this year as well," she said. "As for 2012, there are just too many variables abroad and here in the U.S. for me to make a prediction."

Reynolds CC to host sculptor Paul DiPasquale

Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.

Free children’s clothing for those in need

The Children's Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church will be open Saturday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 to provide free new or nearly new children's clothing for families in need, prior to the start of the school year. The Clothing Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon both days. The church is located at 22 North Holly Avenue. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10

Beautiful fall weather is back this weekend! Don’t leave your favorite pooch at home – take the whole family to Canine Companions’ DogFest Walk ‘n Roll at West Broad Village or FETCH a Cure’s annual Mutt Strutt at Deep Run Park. Pets are also welcome at this weekend’s Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games. Halloween events taking place Sunday include the University of Richmond’s 18th annual Trick or Treat Street and Goblins and Gourds at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.


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Innsbrook's 7th annual Great Pumpkin Palooza will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The annual Punkin Dunkin competition starts at 11 a.m. Public launchings will begin following the competition with pumpkins available for purchase at the pumpkin patch; proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. There will also be a battle of the bands, costume parades and contests, pumpkin painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, bouncy houses, a rock climbing wall, local vendors and crafters, and more. Admission is free. For details, visit http://www.innsbrook.com. Full text

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