We’ve all seen the headlines and heard NAR’s new pitch about how “Real Estate Is Local”. Well, here’s a real life example showing just how true that really is…

Richmond is about 90 minutes away from Loudoun County (in northern Virginia). But the current condition of each local real estate market is completely different from the other.

Brick Smith recently posted his personal opinion and analysis of the Richmond area real estate market on his blog. His unofficial analysis and forecast are a bit dismal, although his forecast does not take into account that the housing market typically picks up in the spring.

On the other hand, about 90 minutes north of Richmond in Loudoun County, the current conditions are much more stable and the forecast more upbeat. Here’s an excerpt of a post I recently wrote on Loudoun Scene regarding the current state of the Loudoun real estate market:

“The rate of new properties coming on the market is decreasing (supply). Buyers are increasing in numbers and making a move after sitting on the sidelines (demand). The percentage of total listings that are foreclosure/bank-owned and short-sale properties has stabilized.

That’s less supply, higher demand and stabilization in the distressed property area – a winning combination.

So you see, it’s actually getting better, not worse. The worst is over with prices having already come down 20 to 40+ percent from the peak in August 2005. “The sky is falling mentality” that is prevalent today should have been around last year and in 2006 when it really was falling. But it’s not the case today. “

As you can see, the two markets are very different. While a Richmond agent predicts a staggering market, Loudoun’s market is stabilizing and showing real signs of improvement.

The saying “Real Estate Is Local” is very true and obvious in this and hundreds, if not thousands of other examples and comparisons. Every market is different and you have to be an expert in your local market to give consumers an educated and accurate response when they ask you the age-old questions “So what’s the market like right now in our area as compared to ______? And where’s it headed?”