I donâ€™t want to write this. I really donâ€™t. This analysis is mostly un-fun to do. *
And so it goes. Every day/week/month reveals that we are in uncharted waters. TARP funds – Paulson doesnâ€™t want â€˜em â€¦ wait! yes he does , Auto Bailouts, Investment Banking Bailouts, Credit Card companies becoming banks â€¦ â€œThere is no playbookâ€ for what weâ€™re experiencing.
Here are the
highlights key takeaways -
- 26 months of inventory**
- Days on Market are up
- Median prices are showing signs of weakness
- Sales Volume is plummeting.
- If you want to sell, price aggressively.
Right now (Sunday, 21 December around 10:30 pm), there are 2,377 homes currently on the market in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson – 3,298 in the entire MLS.
There are 321 properties under contract; 465 in the entire MLS – I think â€œpatheticâ€ is the operative word here.
The good news -
- Interest rates are ridiculously low, and loans are absolutely still available.
- It is a Buyerâ€™s market (if you didnâ€™t know) – so long as you look to stay for at least four years. If youâ€™re an investor seeking to buy and hold – I expect that buying today will yield significant returns in 20 years.
- New Construction continues to be slow – and looks to be for the near future – this is good in that existing inventory will be burned through rather than consistently competing with new homes.
- Our region is poised for growth in the future (check back on Wednesday)
The bad -
- Pretty much everything else.
Iâ€™m really, really hoping that there is some sort of statistical or data entry anomaly that accounts for the jump from nearly fourteen to nearly eighteen months of inventory. â€¦ Weâ€™re following normal trend lines, but this is a bit extreme.
It would appear that perhaps we should have been content with eighteen months of inventory. Iâ€™m still hoping that there is something wrong with the data.
Pam Oâ€™Connor, President/CEO, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World said in a recent Townhall at Inman, â€œThere is a huge appetite for real estate among consumers for statistics and analysis â€¦ what does this really mean to me?â€
That is what I hope to accomplish with these market reports – to provide context to buyers, sellers, lookers – anyone interested in the real estate market in the Charlottesville region.
This information is not presented as a means by which to scare but to provide information. This is a guide, not necessarily a definitive answer, as each sub-region, sub-area, neighborhood and street is it own analysis.
Letâ€™s start with the median prices of all properties in the Charlottesville region – Year over year, region-wide, sales volume is down about 25%. Albemarle County volume is down about 33% and the City of Charlottesville is down only 11%.
Single Family Homes -
Put simply, sales of single family homes in Albemarle County are down about 25%, the City of Charlottesville is down only about 8.5% and the region is off about 21% year over year. Median prices are down everywhere but Nelson.
One last chart, and evidence of how wacky the MLS data is -
Days on Market are the same year over year??? Median Sales price is up???
Hereâ€™s what feels right to me – The number of transactions closed, listings under contract and new listings. When I manually search for new listings in Charlottesville and Albemarle in November, I get 133 – same as the report.
- The information and analysis are only as good as the data available – MLS data is notoriously unreliable (due primarily to those inputting said data) but itâ€™s the best we have. All data comes from the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors.
- This is my year-end report. I donâ€™t foresee a substantial change in the market between now and the start of 2009. If magically that does happen, Iâ€™ll revisit this post.
- Thereâ€™s been a lot of fear about resetting ARMs – hereâ€™s a thought that I havenâ€™t seen elsewhere and that I hope/plan to flesh out in a later post – maybe resetting ARMS wonâ€™t be so bad- what if they were to reset downward rather than up?
- Shadow Inventory – or … why 26 months might be under-estimating the amount of inventory on the market.
Next year -
- I plan to systematize these market reports and am exploring some partnerships that would greatly enhance what I have been providing here.
- More PDF reports in printable formats … I’ll PDF this report and dress it up by the end of this year.
- I’d love to be able to start doing land analysis.
- If any commercial Realtor in the Charlottesville area wants to join up to start doing market analyses on the commercial real estate market, please let me know. I suspect that the CRE market is going to be big news next year.
- A continued commitment to transparency – with the data and analysis as well as who I am and how I work.
- More graphs and colors – we all like shiny things, so I’ll do my best to improve the reports.
- If there is anything that you would like to see added, changed, etc. please let me know.
- If you’re in the local media and have questions about this report, the state of the Charlottesville market, why I use numbers only from the Charlottesville area and not outlying counties like Buckingham, Rockingham, Rockbridge, etc. please contact me anytime.
- I’d love to do wage analysis and other more detailed analyses, but I have to make a living sometime!
- * I was having coffee with a friend last week discussing this report among other things, and mentioned how I didn’t want to write this analysis … she said, “That’s your opening;” so thanks for the help!
- WCAV was kind enough to do a story on this report. Any feedback welcome (especially on the video)