Cautiously optimistic. That’s how I choose to start this year. Additionally, we won’t know where the proverbial/mythical “bottom” was until we have the benefit of 18 months of hindsight. Finding consensus among the optimists is like asking teenage girls to choose which boy they like – it’s impossible. Seemingly every expert has an agenda and a bias; knowing those agendas going in is helpful.
Looking at 2007 versus 2006 – the numbers are not great. However, looking at 2007 versus 2005 – housing seems to have appreciated. I would have run the 2004 numbers, but the MLS was acting up. End of January numbers will provide some insight, but we won’t have a clear indication of where the market is going until February/March.
Independent of the fact that I make my living representing clients buying and selling real estate in the Charlottesville area, I have been told by several clients that they perceive right now to be an excellent time to buy.
Today, in Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson (and Augusta/Waynesboro, as hey are becoming such a part of our market)***
As of 1 January, there were currently 2206 properties on the market in the Charlottesville market area, and 400 were under contract. A quick look back at the past three years shows that our market has changed dramatically. On 3 January, there are 2443 active on the market, and 467 under contract.*
I’m choosing to start the year off with this thought in mind:
But let’s be frank: After such a run of down and bad numbers through most of 2006 and 2007, will it really be a big surprise if housing demand and sales and new construction finally begin showing signs of recovery — even modest recovery — in the year ahead?
Looking back (and stating the obvious), the National Association of Realtors did not have the best track record,
while the Mortgage Bankers Association was a little bit closer:
*Charlottesville market area has been: Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson
** The tables do not include Waynesboro/Augusta, as they did not begin to participate in our MLS substantially until 2007.
*** Going forward in 2008, I am going to try to include Waynesboro/Augusta as well.