Below are the number of new listings in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area.Â As this is my first attempt at this basic analysis, I figured I would start small.Â Note: I excluded condos for this dataset.Â I wrote about them several days ago.The bulk of the inventory is in the $300k-$500k range – not so good for those seeking “affordable” housing.Â What other data would you find interesting and/or valuable?Â I am going to expand the counties and try to include/exclude new construction data as well.Hat tip: I took this idea from Noah’s blog; my goal is to get to Merv’s level of data analysis and presentation.
While reading this article in the WSJ, titled Land Prices Increasingly Drive Housing Markets and then John Miller’s opinion, I was reminded of John Adams’ investment philosophy:It had long been an article of faith among the Adamses that land was the only sound investment and, once purchased, was never to be sold.Â P.Â 34-35, John Adams by David McCulloughLand costs rise, construction costs rise, development costs due to regulatory inefficiencies and bureaucracy rise – where is the affordable housing?
Between a walkthrough, a closing and watching and listening to the USA’s World Cup loss, these are some items of note:Albemarle Place clearing has begun.Affordable housing is essential to modern cities.Â Government-subsidized affordable housing?Â I don’t agree with this, but it is an interesting read.
Walker Square would be well-advised to address their customer service and management issues.Â This is the type of publicity that will 1) impact their ability to rent, 2) their ability to sell their condos and 3) the ability of the owners to sell their condos….Â They better watch out – once the furor begins, they might have to act.Read more than the headlines when assessing the housing market news.Â Might this be a bellweather?On the other hand, investors in homebuilders aren’t too impressed by Seiders’ “orderly” cooling….Â Horton (DHI), KB Homes (KBH), Lennar (LEN), and Pulte Homes (PHM) all closed lower than the day before.Â All of their stocks are down between 35% and 50% from their peaks last year.Jim Bacon has some interesting take-aways from the recent blogging summit in Charlottesville….Â Ethics and trust form part of the foundation of a successful blog, be it a political blog or a business blog.UVA’s $2 Million Crosswalk – at least it will be built rather than planned, studied, planned, debated and then deferred until the next election cycle.UVA’s beTech is fast becoming one of my favorite (local) blogs.Â I have no idea why on VAR Contracts, there is a place for buyers’ and sellers’ SSNs – I tell all of my clients to leave that space blank.
In response to today’s Consumer Federation of America’s report lambasting the real estate industry, the National Association of Realtors releases a statement that fills me with great pride:America’s real estate industry is one of the most competitive business environments in the world, characterized by low barriers to entry, …Is this really something that we should be proclaiming as a positive?…Â Thanks to Inman for the quote.Â Thanks to NAR for defending the profession.Â “It’s really competitive – anybody can do it!”Â (My quote)The authors, although misguided in some ways, make some very valid points.Â There will likely be some discussion in the next day or so about this report …Do all brokers offer services of exactly equal value?Â Should novice brokers who have just received their license routinely charge the same prices of highly skilled brokers who have been practicing for decades?No.Â More analysis to come.
The biggest news of the week could very well be the arrival of Craigslist.Â It is already making its way through local blogs, a bit ahead of the print news cycle, natch.I haven’t seen (or looked for) studies seeking any correlation between blog readers and their awareness of Craigslist, but I am going to assume that this is the case.Â Not everybody (yet) knows Craigslist, but they will.Â From a business perspective, ignoring this entrance could prove fatal.Make no mistake: Craigslist is changing industries.Â Newspapers’ classifieds are fighting for the same piece of pie that Google Base, Craigslist, even used car dealers – why do you think eBay purchased a stake in Craigslist?Craigslist is free.Â Craigslist has something that every organization wants – its visitors’ trust.Â More on this later this week.
The recent housing boom may had a psychological underpinning.Â This should be fun:…Â the Consumer Federation of America, a nonprofit research and advocacy group, releases a report (Monday) on “how the real estate brokerage industry functions as a price-setting cartel.”Fee-based consultants – a better value than commissioned agents?Â We will be seeing more of this as the shift continues.Sign that CharlAlbemarle has “jumped the shark:Besides such no-brainer destinations as Charlottesville, Va., Hershey, Pa., and Baltimore, the Mid-Atlantic region offers much more.Â The impact of higher fuel costs affects Realtors, too.”The suburban pattern is so deeply embedded in our national mythology now that we will persist in these habits for quite a while, even though it will be economically suicidal.”I think I am going to break down the commission and fees, taxes, and other associated transaction and business costs soon to show that not all Realtors are rolling in money.Â Some actually work for a living.