Real Estate Round Up – Charlottesville Real Estate Market Update – May 2011

I’ve written a lot, looked at a lot, and analyzed a lot. Over the past two days, I have looked at real estate market data specific to the Charlottesville MSA for nearly six hours (and I still have quite a bit yet to come, including updated median sales price numbers).* I’ve written thousands of words, and thought that a summary post may be useful.

Part One: Charlottesville MSA – Single Family & Attached Homes Placed Under Contract – First Five Months

Part Two: Charlottesville Real Estate Market Update: Transaction Volume for 2000 – 2011

Part Three: What’s Selling in Charlottesville? Single Family, Attached homes or Condos?

Even this real estate analysis is too broad; to really know what’s happening, you (and I) need to study the market segment relevant to you. Every segment is different and unique.


– Single family homes in Charlottesville MSA: sales up 1.5%, median sales price down 4%

– Attached homes in Charlottesville MSA: sales down 16%, median sales price down 3%

– Condos in Charlottesville MSA: sales down 17%, median sales price down 3.5%

If you’re thinking about buying a home in Charlottesville:

– Do your research.

– Look at the national data: Case Shiller, Fiserv, Core Logic, Census Bureau in context.

– Make sure you’re buying smart and for the right reasons

– Understand that you’re buying a home – a place to live, raise a family (if that’s your intent), somewhere to ensure stability for your family.

– If you’re an investor, be cash-heavy.

If you’re thinking about selling your home in the Charlottesville area:

Price your home right. “Right” does not mean:

1) I need to make X in order to pay off my mortgage

2) I need to sell my home for X so that I can buy this other house

3) My neighbor’s house sold 13 months ago for $512k, so I should be able to sell my home for $________ (it doesn’t matter what their home sold for 13 months ago; what matters is what your active competition is. I wrote this over four years ago, and the commentary is true today: Sold Comps now Matter Less.

4) Get your home ready for the market. If you’re not going to actively fight and compete

If you’re a glutton, bored or interested in what’s been happening the Charlottesville real estate market over the past few years, spend some time poking around the Market Statistics category.

From January 2011:

Median Sales Prices for Charlottesville MSA – Looking at a Decade

Median Home Prices – Attached Homes for Charlottesville MSA

From August 2010:

National Housing Numbers Mean What for the Charlottesville Real Estate Market?

From December 2006:

Are We Tracking the Market Too Closely? – note how my advice has changed from “three to five year decision” then to “five to seven” now.

* I hope you understand that these are my opinions only, and not intended to spin the data in any way shape or form. I’ve used this venue since January 2005 as an outlet for my analysis to help me figure out how best to advise and serve my clients. Your commentary and opinions are welcome (and I hope you appreciate how much time has gone into this 🙂 )

Charlottesville MSA – Attached Homes Inventory (PDF)

Charlottesville MSA – Condos Inventory (PDF)

Charlottesville MSA – Single Family Homes Inventory (PDF)

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  1. C'ville Bubble Blog June 7, 2011 at 00:08

    How about the “sold” data?

    For instance Charlottesville Real Estate Talk’s numbers indicate declines month over month and year over year in “sold,” for data posted thus far:

    Albemarle County down 15% in Single Family May ’11 v April 11, AND May ‘ll v. May ’10. (83/84 v.  71 sold in May ’11).

    Can you confirm?

    There’s a lot of chatter about failing appraisals and buyers demanding concessions. 

    Too, CNBC is quoting sources who say “Spring Selling Season” is already over….

    Appreciate you pulling the numbers together, especially as it shows current activity.

    1. Jim Duncan June 7, 2011 at 01:54

      Patience … :) 

      Using the MLS:

      May 11 – 79 single family homes sold in Albemarle
      May 10 – 85 single family homes sold in Albemarle

      So by my numbers, single family home sales in May are down 7% Year over Year.

      But … the MLS seems to spit out different results depending on how one pulls the numbers. One report says one thing, another says another … it’s why I say it’s “good enough”.

      Down 7.5% – Median sales price for the entire MSA for single family homes
      Down 4% – Median sales price for the entire MSA for attached homes

      I’m still pulling/analyzing data and am going to try to have something out later this week. 


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