A Market “Retort”

The Charlottesville bubble blog, in inimitable style, posts their first-half 2008 Market Retort. Their prediction to a recovery? 2010.

A clarification on their stats:

There are 2595 properties on the market in the Charlottesville area, and 239 sold in July 2008, when defined as Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson. It’s not much, but it does push to 10% the percentage of properties sold via the MLS in July 2008.

I’ll be posting my own updated analysis in the next few days … it typically takes several days for all the data to be updated in the MLS.

Calculated Risk answers the question, Buy Now or Wait? with a definitive “maybe” – (sounds like my “it depends“)

Hong concludes with some sound advice: Don’t buy expecting appreciation, and don’t buy if you are planning on moving soon. The question “buy now or wait?” depends on the circumstances and desires of the potential buyer – so there is no general answer.

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  1. Bret Harris August 4, 2008 at 09:00

    “Don’t buy expecting appreciation…”

    Perhaps the statement might be modified to say:”Don’t buy expecting immediate appreciation”? It seems unlikely that there will be no appreciation over time.

  2. Jim Duncan August 4, 2008 at 09:13

    Bret – Agreed. I have 100% confidence that property bought today will appreciate; it will likely take longer than we have become accustomed to over the past five years. This statement is, in my opinion, a sign of the “new” realistic market expectations.

  3. Scott R August 4, 2008 at 09:30

    I’d say that prices will remain flat – for sellers who can wait this out. The credit tightening isn’t over, and CR also posted this morning about the second severe wave of defaults coming. It’s not so much that we’ll have a glut of foreclosures (although they are accelerating here), but that credit conditions will continue to tighten.

    The properties that did sell seem to be those with the very best value – best location and size – and with significantly reduced prices. The Grove Rd, and Park St. houses are in absolutely some of the best neighborhoods in town, and were decent housing stock. I am curious to see how much the Rugby Rd house actually goes for, if it closes, but I think it’s an outlying data point. There is something really odd about the Lexington Ave house.

  4. Scott R August 4, 2008 at 11:12

    I meant to add: there has been something kind of… delicious…about the high-end foreclosures in Glenmore and out in Western Albemarle. “Keswick” seems to incorporate all of Eastern Albemarle (yea…even unto Lousia!) these days, and the contagion seems to have spread as widely as the desire to label one’s neighborhood “Keswidk”. It seems like Dick Woods Rd. was extended all the way to Afton in an effort to increase the available number of addresses on that street. The foreclosures seem to be spreading there as well!

    The NY Fed map shows a pretty decent concentration of Option ARM mortgages in Albemarle – I guess the open question is how many of those “Prime” borrowers are going to be able to keep afloat after resets. Those don’t start until next year.

  5. The Bubble Blog August 4, 2008 at 22:05


    Thanks for clarifying our numbers. They come from http://www.caar.com–the “live numbers” boxes.

    We were hoping we were careful to specify that the 3688 was the CAAR “area”–meaning all locations the #s cover.

    We agree that houses will eventually appreciate…3% used to be the accepted/anticipated rate. We’ve all been spoiled with crazy numbers for houses and stocks…and reality is biting.

    This is the link to the NYTimes coverage of the wave of Alt-A and Prime defaults: http://tinyurl.com/68a2s4

  6. Jim Duncan August 5, 2008 at 05:39

    BB –

    Thanks; those numbers are a constant frustration for me – not your fault.

    We’re returning to where we used to be – as my mother (Realtor) used to tell people – if you buy a house and sell in 3-5 years and don’t lose money, you will have done pretty well.

    I hate to agree with the NYT, but they may be on to something. 🙂

  7. Pingback: Updated Market Report for Charlottesville Region | Real Central VA

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