Category Archives: Charlottesville
From where contractors’ subs come from to where the money ultimately goes when consumers buy a house, more and more of my buyer clients are asking about “local” … Most home builders have energy efficient scores – HERS ratings, blower door tests, etc. I’m wondering whether a “local score” would have an impact. (and thusly, who would provide said score?)*
Click through for an outstanding infographic titled “Why Buying Local is Worth Every Cent”
YOUR market will vary.
Even though this is what we believe to be an extremely accurate market report, it’s still a broad-brush report.
Mill Creek will have different inventory levels and absorption rates than will Old Trail, or the Gleason condos. As will different price points. i.e. – low absorption rate at $1 million + , high absorption rate in the $300k – $400k price point.
Dig in, get educated, ask questions, either in the comments below or email or call me anytime.
This is an example of how saying “sales are up” or “sales are down” doesn’t tell the whole picture.
For all residential sales year to date in the Charlottesville MSA:
Very broad takeaways -
- Inventory levels across the MSA are up, sales are down.
- Quality inventory is anecdotally way down
- In some market segments, multiple offers are common place.
- New construction is going to be a huge market segment – for better or worse.
- Being prepared to act fast – whether as a buyer or seller – is crucial.
The full report is embedded below, or download it here.
Numbers matter. Today is the new normal when evaluating the Charlottesville real estate market. Last year’s market matters (as do the previous years) but what truly matters to buyers and sellers is what today’s market is.
Some context – the number of homes (single family, attached, condo) sold – in the first quarter – in Charlottesville and Albemarle since 1999:
For this story, I’m not looking at Fluvanna, Greene, Nelson, Louisa as their growth seems to have started a bit after Charlottesville’s and Albemarle’s did, respectively. Right now, I’m seeking consistent volume in the real estate market.
Single family homes are the traditional marker of the market, for the sake of consistency. Attached homes have exploded in popularity (we’ll be looking at new construction numbers next week) in the past 5-7 years.
For anyone looking to buy a home in the Charlottesville-Albemarle markets right now, five key points to be aware of are:
- Quality inventory is in high demand, low supply. Of the 550 homes (all types) in the MSA that went under contract in 1st Quarter 2013, 276 had days on market of less than 30, 214 had days on market of less than 14, 129 had days on market of less than 3! (57 had days on market of at least 300)
- Overall inventory is up (surprised, right? Me too)
- Quality, well-priced homes are selling – fast. Often with multiple offers (I’ve written several escalation clauses in the past few weeks, if you can believe it)
- Being prepared – both as a buyer and seller – is crucial. Know the market; hire a quality real estate agent, prepare your house effectively.
- Be patient. If you’re a buyer looking in particular segments, you might have to lose at least one house in the process. I know it sucks. But there will be another house.
If you’re interested in the actual numbers, click through to see the rest of the story.
Land use (for many) is boring and is the task of other people. But … if you live in (or are thinking about living in) the Charlottesville or Albemarle areas, you should be paying at least some attention to the Comprehensive Planning Processes of the County of Albemarle and City of Charlottesville. This stuff matters.
I haven’t reviewed the respective Comprehensive Plans, but the one thing that I think would be a crucial component would be how each locality plans to cooperate and collaborate with the other – particularly on infrastructure. Our locality’s inability to plan effectively and more importantly – implement and execute (at all) – are damaging to the community, real estate values and quality of life. 40 years ago, the Meadowcreek Parkway was a logical road (from what I’ve been told); today, notsomuch. But it’s the best that could be done apparently.
Naturally, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports on both.
After two years of review and more than 60 meetings, the Charlottesville Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday on the document that will help shape land use decisions through 2018 and beyond.
The plan also includes an analysis of the city’s ability for future growth. There are currently around 10,000 potential residential units that could be built by-right, though only 800 of those would be in the city’s lower-density neighborhoods.
Haluska also said that the city is running out of vacant land for new residential development, so new homes will likely be built on sites that will have to be redeveloped.
“[In the 2007 version] we had five sections in the Comprehensive Plan and they were kind of unbalanced,” county principal planner Elaine Echols said. “Those sections were created at different times and they each start with the growth management policy.”
“[In the current draft] we’ve pulled these sections together into one single document and moved the growth management policy [to the beginning of the plan],” Echols added, noting that these changes should decrease repetition and increase ease of use.
There really ought to be a simple public display of how much money has been spent on transportation studies that result in nothing but recommendations for more studies.
Sean Tubbs writes that the Metropolitan Planning Organization is planning to study the Eastern Connector again:
Officials first want consultants to evaluate potential obstacles that could undermine public support.
Like … the complete unfeasibility of such a project? Would that undermine public support?
A bit of background –
“We don’t want to restrict growth, and I think saying ‘no growth’ is absurd,” Duncan said. “I think saying ‘unbridled growth’ is equally absurd. Somewhere in the middle, between those two extremes, there has to be some sort of solution.”
- Buyer psychology and reading buyers – being able to read and guide buyers is a critical skill. This is one reason that I don’t know what my buyer clients want until we’ve gone out once or twice.
- Housing has been booming! Construction jobs haven’t. Here’s why. – I’d be curious to see data this localized to the Charlottesville area market (and out of area contractors don’t count). The Charlottesville area didn’t seen larger construction companies laying off people so much as it saw a reduction in the number of construction companies – big and small.
- I’m really proud of the community that’s been built around RealCrozetVA (including RealCrozetVA on twitter & Facebook) – it hasn’t been deliberate other than I’ve wanted to build something for the good of Crozet. That said, this is an interesting post on how to build a community on a blog.
- Hashtags considered #harmful – I’d argue that #hashtags are less harmful than #tinylinks – urls shortened by a service like goo.gl, bit.ly, etc – once those short links expire (of the service providing them expires) – those links are gone.
- Home Value Highest Since ’07 as U.S. Houses Make Cash – Keep in mind, this is a national report.
- My outline for for April’s monthly note is taking shape … if you’re interested in reading a somewhat more personal, not-published-anywhere-else note from me, I’d be honored if you’d choose to read it.
At least, after showing dozens of houses over the past few days and seeing many desired homes go under contract before my clients could get to them, this is my conclusion: Some segments of the Charlottesville – Albemarle real estate market have turned.
Not all. Maybe not most, but several, possibly even many micro-segments of the Charlottesville real estate market are seeing remarkably low, unhealthily low levels of inventory.
In the Baker-Buter and Hollymead elementary school districts:
There are currently 36 single family homes under contract.
- 26 of those have continuous days on market of less than 30.
- 19 have continuous days on market of less than 7!
In Crozet and Brownsville elementary school districts:
There are currently 63 single family homes under contract.
- 44 of those have continuous days on market of less than 30.
- 36 have continuous days on market of less than 7!
In the City of Charlottesville:
- There are currently 69 homes listed as being under contract.
- 32 have continuous days on market of less than 30.
- 17 have continuous days on market of less than 7!
For Charlottesville + Albemarle:
- There are currently 323 homes under contract.- 121 have continuous days on market under 7. Holy. Cow.- But. 68 of those 323 homes have days on market of at least 180. - YOUR market will vary.
What does this mean?
For buyers – get ready. Be prepared (to be frustrated as well as ready to move fast). Be pre approved. Identify your target micro market, and be ready to act quickly. Bidding wars are happening. Houses are going under contract in days rather than weeks. Scheduling showings on Monday for a Saturday showing is no longer an option.
For sellers – now could be the best time in 7 years for you to sell. But … you might not have a place to move into.
* Excluding new construction. If you want new construction in Charlottesville or Albemarle, it’s everywhere; you can get it.
This should be fun. For those who read last month’s note, you know that I was contemplating accepting the invitation to be on this panel put on by ASAP – Advocates for a Sustainable Population. Anyone who has read RealCentralVA for a while knows that I’m extremely skeptical of forced (and arbitrary) population limits. You also know that I struggle with growth, its implications and the inherent conflict between being a real estate agent who ostensibly benefits from growth – while at the same time recognizing that unbridled, unmitigated growth is, for lack of a better word – bad.
I’m looking forward to an interesting conversation tomorrow night at ASAP’s annual meeting.
Click through to read ASAP’s email about the event.