There’s a bit more housing inventory in the Charlottesville MSA (region) than we are used to.
First – the basic update.
Right now, in our market* –
– 2,352 residential properties are currently active on the market.
– 504 are under contract.
– 426 have sold since the first of the year.
The good news first – some sellers are starting to â€œget it.â€
Of the aforementioned 504 properties under contract, 198 have continuous days on market of under 30 days and 259 have continuous days on market of less than 60 days. **
Framed another way – about 50% of new sellers understand (and are financially able to make this decision – this is another story) that pricing one’s home properly is crucial to actually selling the house. If you do not price your home well – from Day One – be prepared for frustration, aggravation and not selling your home.
Summary – We are going to continue to see a market adjustment (read: many Sellers still have yet to recognize that in many cases, we are back to 2006 price levels), but those who want to sell must realize the new market realities. Buyers who are pre-approved, have some cash saved and don’t have houses to sell are absolutely in the drivers’ seat.
Now really and truly is a great time to buy a house – if you are buying for the right reasons (ask me for specific insight for your situation) and you intend to actually live there for a couple of years. I have heard anecdotal evidence that long-term investors are starting to snap up inventory. Multiple offers, while certainly not common, are in fact happening all over Charlottesville and Albemarle.
My prediction? There are so many unknowns that are affecting the market – credit crunch, mortgage bailout, things likely may get worse before they get better. But – if you happen to care about living in a house and enjoying the intrinsic value, of being a part of a community and the rest of the intangibles, now may very well be the time to buy.
With that caveat, I think that the calls for the proverbial “bottom” are premature. When I was a kid I wouldn’t know the bottom of the swimming hole until my toes dug down into the muck and I was heading rapidly back to the surface. Our current market is very much the same. We won’t know when we hit bottom until we have the benefit of 18 months of hindsight – or, to continue the swimming hole metaphor, until we’ve crawled out and told our friends – holy cow! It’s really deep!
Inventory numbers for 2005 through 2008 for the Charlottesville region –
Accounting for new construction –
In 2004, 793 new construction residential properties were listed. 615 sold.
In 2005, 980 new construction residential properties were listed. 662 sold.
In 2006, 1215 new construction residential properties were listed. 609 sold.
In 2007, 820 new construction residential properties were listed. 499 sold.
So far, 196 new construction properties have come on the market this year. 60 have sold so far.
——-Tune in to WINA this afternoon at five o’clock PM to hear me talk about this report and the current state of the market. ——-
* Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, Nelson
* * All data come from the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors’ MLS, with my standard caveats – it’s the best source of data out there, and represents a super-majority of the real estate market, enough from which to draw relatively accurate conclusions. The data is only as good as the Realtors entering the data, however.
* * * Waynesboro/Augusta Market report coming tomorrow.