One big notation: I’m no longer comparing today’s real estate market; what happened in 2005 – 2007 and before is interesting, curious, anomalous and ultimately irrelevant to today’s real estate market. EVERYTHING is different now – interest rates, economic outlook, international economic events, gas prices, employment trends – making comparisons between this market and that market is a distraction.
The City of Charlottesville’s real estate market is unique – its mix of homes – single family, condo, townhouse, the fact that is has a relatively smaller percentage of newer construction and its more dense and urban location make it quite distinctive from the surrounding markets.
First, the bullet points:
– Active Listings – Down significantly versus October of 2010, but still too many homes on the market.
– New Listings – Fewer than the past two years and trending down; this is a very good thing. As fewer houses come on the market, more houses of the existing homes for sale will sell and we’ll be able to find our way through the current spate of houses on the market. *
– All Pendings (Under Contracts) – On target with last year. Stability is good.
– New Pendings (Better reflecting current market activity) – Trending upwards, and higher than last year.
– Sold Listings – Right in line with last year. I’ll take this as a good sign as it’s not significantly down.
– Median Prices – for all homes, median prices are completely bizarre (see the various methods of portraying the data at the end of this post). I’ve looked at the sold data for the City of Charlottesville three different ways – through the provider for these charts (RBI) , through a report in the Charlottesville MLS, and manually through the Charlottesville MLS.
RBI Says 15 homes have sold. the MLS report says 16 homes have sold and the manual report says 16. Here’s the thing: there’s a range of prices in that 16 transactions. A big range, as is the least expensive was $118k and the most expensive was $1,050,000. Last October, there were 20 transactions ranging from $121k to $1,000,000 (for a condo in the Gleason building).
If you’re thinking about buying or selling in the City, frankly, these numbers don’t mean much as they don’t reflect your market! You’re either in the market for a condo at 1800 JPA or a home in one of the finer neighborhoods in the City, but probably not both.
I’d love to include the numbers and charts for Days on Market and the List Price to Sales Price ratio, but I have found that the only, only, only way to run these numbers with any degree of accuracy is to do it manually. For specific properties and neighborhoods.
Note also that these numbers and charts are for everything – single family, attached and condos – your market will vary.
* I’m not totally convinced that the houses that are coming on the market in the Charlottesville and Albemarle real estate market are the ones that buyers want to buy – whether size or energy efficiencies, I think that the inventory we’ve seen over the past 18 months has not quite matched to what buyers want, and this is a reason that we’ve seen the new construction market in the Charlottesville area do so well.
Now, the charts and graphs …
Median Sales Prices for Single Family Homes in the City of Charlottesville: