Where’s Charlottesville in the Case-Shiller index?

Huh. Thanks to the recent commenter for this:

Nationally, 18% of current homesellers have negative equity.

And today, Tuesday, there’s this:

‘Yale economist Robert Shiller, who developed one of the widely followed gauges of home prices, said in a speech Tuesday that home prices, which have already fallen about 15 percent from their peak in 2006, may fall further than the 30 percent drop experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s, so far the biggest decline in home prices in the country.

“Basically we are in uncharted territory,” Shiller said, noting that the 85 percent rise in home prices from 1997 to 2006 after adjusting for inflation had represented the biggest housing boom in U.S. history, so the fall in prices could be just as historic.’

From the AP newswire.

March’s existing home sales are down. And I’m part of the problem. I’m waiting to buy.

Perhaps C’ville won’t be quite as impacted as other areas of the county…but still, there’s so much inventory, prices are headed down.


The Charlottesville/Central Virginia/Shenandoah Valley markets are not covered by the Case-Shiller index. Real estate is local; while trends may be drawn from this type of research, and while the proverbial turned-corner may still be just over the horizon, it’s important to put his study in the appropriate context.

Regarding the Shiller index, consider this (and also do consider the source (NAR)) –

Secondly, the Case-Shiller price index — which has been gaining more media coverage as of late — covers only 20 markets. Most of these 20 markets coincidentally tend to be located in California, Florida, and other down markets. As a result, the index shows that most of the 20 markets are experiencing price declines. The media, in turn, then puts up a headline like “Home Values Falling Severely in Most U.S. markets.” For the average busy consumer, a headline like this will surely dampen their confidence about buying a home. This is total distortion of market conditions based on a small selection of falling local metro coverage.

With humility, I would argue that some of the best localized market analysis for the Charlottesville region can be found here. While the data used is from the Charlottesville MLS, the data is accurate enough to draw fairly decent conclusions.

(Visited 169 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Pavel April 23, 2008 at 12:37

    I’ve now seen 4 properties go under contract in less than a week, some in just a day or two. Those properties that are being priced aggressively tend to lead the market. I’ll tell you, there is for sure, a VERY competitive market out there that is REAL, but it’s a small “sub” market of really well priced properties. I’ve been involved in numerous multiple offer situations this year. I know of one new community in Charlottesville that put 10 units under contract in March alone. We’re in a price driven market.

  2. Dave Phillips April 23, 2008 at 15:16

    I would argue that some properties are correctly priced and many have either sold or are waiting to close. Others are still priced too high and will need to come down to meet the market. In other words, home values have already dropped, but some folks have not dropped their price. Knowing the difference between the over-priced and the correctly priced is the key.

  3. Pingback: Surprised that Yun’s candor wasn’t noticed | Real Central VA

  4. matt s. April 30, 2008 at 13:32

    Hmmm.., seems you messed up the link to the “best localized market analysis.’

    You want to see into the future? You need to do more than just trying to extrapolate from RE sales data. What are the inputs that gave us our local RE boom, and are they they still there to prop up prices? The only legitimate input is rising wages and income. The other two are loose lending policies and Ponzi-style inflation of prices.

    The last two are gone, can we count on the first? I don’t have data on local wages, but when I see people tout our immunity to the national economic situation, they invariably cite two things, our UVA anchor, and various federal agencies and contractors in the area.

    While those are strong economic drivers, they also mean we are highly dependent on state and federal government funding, and we know state and federal (and local) govt. income is down this year, which leads to budgets squeezes. On top of that, many expenses are rising rapidly. Remember what happened in 2002? UVA hiring freezes. Local schoolteachers not getting raises.

    UVA researchers and academics are reportedly worried about what happens when their current grants run out. How is UVA’s Capital Campaign doing? Haven’t seen any press releases from them for a year. They do seem to have a brilliant fund manager though, it will be interesting to see how he does this year.

    This area is simply not an independent socialist republic, though some call it that. There is no way that we are immune to these massive tides. The only hope has been that this economic mess would be over by now, but it certainly is not.

    If you would like to scare the sh** out of yourself some more, read Mr. Mortgage (and watch his youtube vids):


    boombust blog is good too:


    forewarned is forearmed…


    “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

    — Thomas Jefferson, Letter 1802 to Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin

  5. Pingback: Case Schiller’s Perspective on the Charlottesville Real Estate Market | | RealCentralVA.comRealCentralVA.com

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *