Home Sales down in Charlottesville – expanded

I was going to wait until mid-June to run the numbers for the numbers for the Charlottesville-area real estate market, but it’s like someone put out a press release or something, as the same story is now seen across the local Charlottesville media. From the Daily Progress:

There were 394 area homes sold during May, down from the 428 homes sold during May 2006. And sales so far this year are down more than 7 percent when compared with the first five months of 2006.

That drop is better than the statewide trend. Across Virginia, May sales were down by 16 percent and year-to-date sales were down more than 10 percent.

Two notes –

1) Looking solely at Year over Year numbers conveys a sense of liquidity about the real estate market – something that was never intended to be. Housing has always had intrinsic value as well – much more so than stocks or bonds.
2) I broke condos out of the below numbers because the condo segment of the market has always been argued as providing an affordable sustainability to the market.

In Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson,

May 2007 – 339 homes sold, 40 of which were condos.
May 2006 – 414 homes sold, 67 of which were condos.
May 2005 – 409 homes sold, 41 of which were condos.
May 2004 – 355 homes sold, 25 of which were condos.
May 2003 – 296 homes sold, 21 of which were condos.

The Charlottesville market continues to adjust. I’d say we were moving toward a “normal” market, but I’m having a hard time defining “normal.” For many of the contracts I am negotiating for my buyer clients, we have been getting between 5%-10% below asking price.

Mid-July I will be running and posting much more comprehensive numbers. This story was precipitated by my perception that more context was needed.

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