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March 6, 2007

Housing Slump Drags Down Virginia ‘Active Adult’ Sector

The general slump in the housing market has chilled the once hot active adult communities sector in Virginia. Both new home sales and existing home sales declined precipitously in 2006 versus 2005. Early 2007 is showing a glimmer of improvement as declining prices start to bring buyers out.

Gainesville, VA (PRWeb) March 6, 2007 — The 2006 slowdown in the Virginia housing market had a dramatic and negative impact on the “active adult” housing sector. To entice buyers back into the market, builders are now offering huge incentive packages including substantial price discounts and attractive no-cost upgrade packages.

A few years ago, Virginia active adult community sales were riding high on the aging “boomer” wave. It was common for new communities to have thousands sign up for tours within days of an announcement. The age 55+, amenity-packed gated communities were popular with the leading edge of the “boomer” generation.

Peggy Lasater, a Realtor and active adult community specialist, tracks the sector closely. “Builders are really aggressive. Three of the new homes I’ve sold in the past few months were discounted over $100,000 from list price. It’s the most aggressive pricing ever for this market segment and a clear sign of the impact of the housing market slowdown.”

Sales of existing homes in active adult communities have also declined significantly. Lasater says, “Some communities, such as Heritage Hunt, Lansdowne Woods of Virginia and Dunbarton, all in Northern Virginia, had unit sales of existing homes drop by around fifty percent in 2006 compared to 2005.”

She attributes the sharp decline to two major factors: difficulty selling currently owned homes and resale home prices that have been too high. “The prospective buyers almost always have a home to sell first and they are having difficulty getting the price they want in the current market. Unfortunately, the market doesn’t care what price they want. On the seller side, too many homeowners still haven’t come to terms with what the market is telling them. If your home has been on the market for several months without an offer, it is over-priced. It is taking price reductions of ten percent or more to move this inventory. We are beginning to see those reductions now.”

Early 2007 is showing signs of an improving market. “I’m seeing more activity.,” she said. “It actually showed up on New Year’s Day when traffic to my Website, OWL55.com, jumped sharply and it has stayed higher. And all through January, I’ve been seeing more contracts on the MLS. I think people are realizing that if you wait for a better market to sell your current home, you end up buying in a better market and paying more. So, why wait? There are now some great buys in the active adult communities of Virginia.”

About Peggy Lasater, Realtor and OWL55.com:

Ms. Lasater is with Linton Hall, Realtors in Northern Virginia. She specializes in active adult communities and operates OWL55.com, which covers 34 active adult communities in Virginia.

Contact:

Peggy Lasater, Realtor Linton Hall, Realtors
888 498 7455
http://www.owl55.com

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BULL RUN OBSERVER
December 15, 2006

Realtor Specializes In Buying And Selling
In Active Adult Communities

By Nancy Johnson; Observer Staff

“My mission is to simplify and expedite the process of buying or selling an active adult community home,” says Peggy Lasater, a Realtor with Linton Hall, Realtors. She continues, “My Website is the first step in helping my clients find their dream home.”

Lasater’s Website OWL55.com (Oh, What a Life) is exclusively about active adult communities. She says, “I know more about [this market] because it is my only focus. I have visited and met with representatives of 34 active adult community developers in northern and central Virginia. I maintain regular contact with sales management in order to always know the status of their communities, their inventory and their incentive programs.”

Lasater developed the OWL55 Website a year ago when she realized that many potential buyers begin their search on the computer. Her site focus was communities with low-maintenance homes, safety and security features, physical activities and above all, a true sense of community. The 34 communities are, located in an area ranging from northern Virginia to Charlottesville and Richmond, and west to Winchester, an area just beginning to develop adult communities.

Lasater lives in Dunbarton, one of the communities she markets, and says she understands the life experiences of her clients and enjoys “helping people find a lifestyle that fits them.” She continues; “People want to live near their families, and my Website attracts many buyers from out of state.” She has had buyers from Michigan, Tennessee and New York come to her through her site.

Fifty percent of her buyers relocate in a community out of the northern Virginia area. She can help them with visits, advice on new and resale homes and knowledge of many different communities.