This is a post to provide a baseline going forward rather than a comprehensive analysis. We all know where the Charlottesville regional real estate market stands; predicting tomorrow, next week, next quarter is a job unto itself.
For further context, reference my market report from June 2009.
Not much has changed since I wrote in August of 2009 that regarding the Charlottesville real estate market, We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know. Now we know what we don’t know.
We don’t know:
- The level of shadow inventory in the Charlottesville market.
- The number of foreclosures Charlottesville (Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson) are going to see this year.
- What interest rates are going to do.
- What unemployment/employment is going to do.
- What new construction in Charlottesville is going to do in 2010.
- (how many building permits, how many builders, what Ryan Homes are going to do – read: continue their dominance)
- What the hell the government is going to do with their incessant manipulations of markets through home buyer tax credits, foreclosure moratoriums, cramdowns of loans …
- How many – what percentage – Charlottesville homes are under water – one in four American borrowers are under water– and what these sellers choose to do. Will they go the short sale route? Foreclosure?
- How prevalent – if at all – strategic defaults may be.
- What will be done about negative equity?
- How many investors come into the market.
- What will happen after the homebuyer tax credit (probably) expires on 1 May 2010?
If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Charlottesville this year: Be smart, patient, qualified and informed.
A work-in-progress page – Moving to Charlottesville
So … entering 2010 (read: “twenty-ten”) … for context as we move through the year …
Right now in Central Virginia:*
Active – 2355 – about 7% more than last year.
Under Contract: 347 – about 13% fewer than last year.
Active – 285
Under Contract: 38
Active – 817
Under Contract: 139
For an example of why national and other regions’ real estate analyses and forecasts just aren’t relevant when you’re trying to get a handle on the Charlottesville real estate market, take a look at this analysis from Ventura County, California:
Some of the home buyers in Ventura County have lost the excitement of home shopping. The low inventory of homes in every city of our county has caused a bidding war on many properties. Homes that are priced well receive multiple offers within the first couple of days of being on the market. In my recent experience, many of these homes sell 3-5% over the asking price. Cash buyers, and home buyers with 10-20% downpayment, have a strong advantage of being much more likely to have have their offers accepted. This leaves FHA home buyers probing and watching the housing market more vigorously,
An inventory shortage! Multiple offers being common! Put simply – that ain’t us.
* Right now is 6 January 2009 at about 10:30am
* Central Virginia is Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson