August’s housing numbers for the Charlottesville region

Another month brings another set of data and observations on the Charlottesville area housing market. In short, we’ve seen better days. Continuing my series in comparing 2004 to 2007 –

Sales are down significantly, (100 fewer transactions in Charlottesville/Albemarle) inventory is up and absorption rates are way up.

With the caveat that MLS numbers, while still the best source of data, do not have all properties for sale and that have sold (primarily new construction and condo conversions which are frequently never entered into the MLS) –

Sometimes, there is absolutely nothing a seller or Realtor can do to induce a sale (or even traffic), and this is one of the most frustrating aspects of this current market. Some observations and anecdotes:

– More and more, buyers are making offers continent on the sale of their existing property.
– Sellers – if you get an offer, hold onto it!
– The last few homes on which I have closed (as the Buyer’s Agent) have sold for between 13% and 15% under asking price.
– If you don’t need to sell your home, you may want to strongly consider staying put.

When comparing 2004 and 2007, sales in Charlottesville/Albemarle are down about 35%.

2004 Sold – Charlottesville & Albemarle – Single Family homes, attached homes and condos

Albemarle Charlottesville sold in 2004

2007 Sold – Charlottesville & Albemarle – Single Family homes, attached homes and condos

Albemarle Charlottesville sold in 2007

2004 Sold – Charlottesville & Albemarle – Single Family homes and attached homes

Albemarle_Charlotteville_no_Condos_04

2007 Sold – Charlottesville & Albemarle – Single Family homes and attached homes

Albemarle Charlotteville No Condos 07-1

There may be a couple of things at play here –

– Satisfaction with one’s current home. The numbers from the past five years reflected pent-up demand. We may be moving to a less transient market, and this is going to take some time to shake out.
– Buyers and sellers are very reluctant to buy or take a lower price, respectively.
– There is no easy way

Regarding the “real estate agent” bubble:

111 agents have had 10 or more “sides” so far this year.
438 have had between 2 and 10 sides.
223 have had one side.

Approximately 500 have not had any transactions at all so far this year. The first quarter of 2008 should prove telling as (I expect) many Realtors will choose to find other lines of work.

– For some excellent comments on housing appreciation in Charlottesville, look at this post from last week.
Daniel has posted the 2006 -v- 2007 numbers.
To see what’s happening in the Culpeper market to our north, check out this post.

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Market-wide, sales are down nearly 40%, between 2004 and 2007.

Sold, region-wide in 2004
Charlottesville region - sold in 2004

Sold, region-wide in 2007
Charlottesville region - sold in 2007

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