Ed... my mom is trying to sell her house in Monterey - it's about an hour from Staunton, but less Metropolitan (if you can beleive THAT!). We're not too impressed with her agent, and looking for a replacement. I doubt you'll find anyone here that will know that market, but if you do - they should call me, too! VChrisner@kw.com
If you don't, then I'd be glad to connect you with anyone I find during our screening process. Email me and I will try to hook you up.
Based on the filtered information I've learned about their market it is S-L-O-W. Prices haven't dropped much. Their agents say it is because they never escalated like ours (I am in No Va), or even yours. I think it is because we move quicker. The pattern here was nothing sold for a pretty long while. Under the pressure of not being able to sell for what they owed, and not being able to cover the mortgage with any rent, owners started losing their homes to foreclosure. After banks owned homes and they still didn't sell, they started doing public auctions to find the right pricing for the homes. Once they found the price at which buyers couldn't stay away, houses started selling, and activity has remained high since - that's been a little over a year. Prices are stable in some areas, still declining in some, and even increasing in others - we have many "micro" markets here. My guess is we'll do a bit of see-sawing, but we're working towards equilibrium.
In watching other markets, it seems to me that everyone is somewhere on that curve. The markets with slow activity havent seen price drops - I think it's coming. The markets who have seen significant price drops are seeing an increase in activity. And, no matter how much denial they're in, I don't believe that the agents in the rural parts of VA are correct - I think they just can't see it coming.
So far, I am yet to find a web site that will give me info about those markets... but if you do, please share. I am locating people through reaching out into my network. I think I'll find the better agents this way - rather than have my mom pick someone out of the paper (like she did last time).
And, if you'd like to buy my mom's house, forget everything I've said. It's beautiful (it is) and wonderful, and the best house in all of Highland County... and you'll love it so much you'll want to pay more than her asking price! (wink wink) :-)