The vacancy rate has been seriously consistent – when analyzing the market, and controlling for so many inconsistencies in the data entry*, about 33% of residential homes on the market in the Charlottesville area have been listed as vacant in the Charlottesville MLS for nearly the past three years.
What does this mean?
CNBC noted last week that vacant homes are having a national impact on the market, but this post is about the local market –
Some of the consequences of vacant houses – potential identity theft, homeowner’s insurance rates going up (or being canceled), snowball effect on neighborhoods, … localities’ budgets will likely be impacted by all the vacancies …
If you’re a buyer looking at a vacant house, you may want to (get permission) and come in before the home inspection and spend some time flushing toilets, running water, running the dishwasher, washer/dryer, etc. – the snapshot provided by a short (although thorough) home inspection may not provide all the insight you need.
For some perspective –
There are almost 1200 residential properties actively on the market in CharlAlbemarle. Almost 400 of these show as vacant, while almost 300 of these vacant homes are new construction.
For the entire market area, there are about 2,000 homes on the market, 600 of which are vacant, 450 of which are new construction.
In the Charlottesville/Central Virginia area*, there are 1709 residential properties on the market. 620 of these are vacant – a staggering 36%.
Breaking the numbers down a hair more:
1278 properties are not marked as â€œnew construction.â€
38% of these are vacant.
For Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson, there are currently 2,012 active residential properties on the market – 36% of these are vacant.
In the Waynesboro MLS, there are 1107 properties on the market – 46% of these are vacant.
October 31 2008** –
In Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson there are now 2,540 active residential properties on the market – 33% of the current inventory is listed as vacant in the Charlottesville MLS.
Solely in Charlottesville/Albemarle – of the 1,355 properties currently listed as “active” – 35% of these (472) are vacant.
— A new construction breakdown, to demonstrate the
nuances possible inaccuracies (and inability to find good correlations) of the data –
18% of the properties in CharlAlbemarle are listed as being “new” – 32% of these are listed as “vacant” – huh? Aren’t all new construction properties vacant? Probably. Many, many of the vacant new construction homes have listed under “Showing Instructions” – “Drive Out” or “Call Owner” or “Call, no answer use lockbox” or “call agent.”
An interesting data point – 10% of the properties listed for sale in the MLS have “LLC” in the Owner Name field – (45% of these are condos!) these are builders, banks, investors … a further breakdown is coming on this in a forthcoming post.
* Caveats – the data provided here is only as good as the data input by the Realtors responsible for maintaining the integrity of the MLS data. New construction data is notoriously unreliable, for example.
** I pulled the data on 29 October and don’t foresee statistically significant changes happening between Wednesday and Friday.
*** I really think that I wrote about vacant houses in 2005, but I couldn’t find the post.
**** Isn’t data fun?