Charlottesville MSA Real Estate Market Update – August 2011 – How This Matters to You

Pending Contracts in the Charlottesville MSA are UP, year over year. But if you’re looking to buy a home in the Charlottesville area or if you’re trying to or thinking about selling, this number doesn’t matter to you one bit. What matters is – what is the market doing on my street? In my neighborhood? In my elementary school district? What happens at the top level – national, state, MSA, locality – is darn near irrelevant other than from a psychological point of view.

Here is why the top numbers don’t matter … there are extremes and outliers everywhere; today’s example:

A house just went under contract in the Bentivar neighborhood. A first look says that the house came on the market at $595k and went under contract in 6 days. If that house sells for $595k, the MLS data will show that it sold for 100% of its asking price. Which isn’t accurate.

  • The house first came on the market in February 2010 for $1,100,000.
  • Reduced to $835,000
  • Came back on the market at $833,000
  • Reduced to $735,000
  • Came on the market for $595,000
  • Went under contract quickly.

Look beyond the numbers presented to you. Here and everywhere. Good real estate professionals don’t try to hide the information, but it takes work to discover what’s actually happening.

** Disclosure: The data presented here is close enough to accurate so as to be relevant. As in, there may be discrepancies between the true data when I dig into it on an individual level and the high-level data presented by the system.

Perhaps the two most relevant posts I’ve written in the past few weeks are these:

Goodbye, 0-5 Buyer -OR- Finance a House or an Education? in which I discuss the elimination of the short-term homeowner and this effect on the Charlottesville area real estate market and
Categorizing the Charlottesville Real Estate Market – in which I break the market down into four segments – from distressed to price aggressively.

The Charlottesville real estate market is. It’s good. It’s bad. There are opportunities out there, and there is a whole ton of sadness, despair and unfortunateness. But the market persists.

I’ll boil my advice down to two points:

– Advice for buyers – do your due diligence, be patient, save your money in the meantime.

– For Sellers – as I said last year – do not attempt to chase the market down. Beat it down. (ask me for advice)




Albemarle County Detailed Real Estate Market Report – August 2011

City of Charlottesville Detailed Real Estate Market Report – August 2011

Greene County Detailed Real Estate Market Report – August 2011


Home Price preview at Calculated Risk.

The Five Real Estate What ifs that Make me lose sleep – these haven’t changed, and in fact there are more things that make me lose sleep:

Another reason I’m losing faith in the American system: Huff Post and Forbes.

How to fix the housing mess: until we fix the tax code and minimize the power of our “representatives,” nothing but the status quo will subsists. Until then, I’ll look forward to the “responses” from Rep. Hurt.


If anyone – real estate agent, economist, lender, politician – tells you with confidence that the (insert your locality here) real estate market is doing X, they are either misinformed, lying or confused.

What we don’t know, when looking at top level, aggregate numbers for the Charlottesville MSA (Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson):

True Days on Market – to accurately ascertain this, one must look at specific properties and property histories.

True list to sale ratio – to accurately ascertain this, one must look at specific properties and property histories

True % of “re-listed” properties

True number of foreclosures and short sales

Related:

Charlottesville MSA Median Prices 2000 through 2011 (June 2011)

Impossible to Predict the Charlottesville Real Estate Market

Still seeking “normal” in the number of transactions in the Charlottesville real estate market (October 2010)

First Quarter Market Report for Charlottesville and Albemarle (April 2009) – Added for context


** Disclosure: The data presented here is close enough to accurate so as to be relevant. As in, there may be discrepancies between the true data when I dig into it on an individual level and the high-level data presented by the system.

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  1. Pingback: Greene County Real Estate Market Update – August 30 2011 | RealCentralVA.com

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