Case Shiller Doesn’t Track Charlottesville’s MSA – or – Nest Realty’s 4th Quarter Report

Five year trend of sales activity in the Charlottesville MSA

I’ve said it before. Case Shiller’s Perspective on the Charlottesville real estate market summed up in one phrase: it doesn’t exist.

As I said this morning on Google+

So we’re getting ready to widely release Nest Realty’s 4th Quarter 2012 Nest Report … there’s some interesting data and analysis in there.

Combined with the reports I’m hearing from agents about the massive traffic at open houses, I’m thinking that *pockets* of the Charlottesville – Albemarle real estate markets are likely to see some stability & even price increases this year.

As far as Case-Shiller and the NAR? They don’t track our market. They’re good insofar as they give insight into other markets and their respective psychological impacts are interesting but not particularly relevant to our local market.

Here’s Nest’s 4th Quarter report – (Download your copy of the PDF here)

What we’re seeing is this:

– Buyer activity is up. Way up, over the past few months and years

– Multiple offers on desirable properties are becoming almost common place

– Foreclosures and short sales are going to be with us for a long time

Buyers want to buy. They just don’t want to buy crap or overpriced homes.

– (some) Sellers are becoming more realistic.

As a sign of positivity:

In the Charlottesville MSA in Jan 1-30 2011, 161 properties went under contract. This year, that # is 183. Not bad.Ed Skykes with NBC 29 reported on the Nest Report and this is one of the key snips:

But even with good news, he says there is still uncertainty.  Duncan stated, “No one’s calling a bottom by any stretch. I’ve written and said for years that we’re not going to know bottom until we have a year or two of hindsight. But right now, in our microcosm, we’re seeing very positive activity.”

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  1. Andrewlbarry February 1, 2012 at 16:15

    Not sure why you think Case Shillers has little relevance …. You have written something similar before, only for the Cville market to trade lower like the index implied. Perhaps Cville is just lagging the national market. I have been looking for a house in Cville for 3years and found sellers a little indignant. Why is it so many people in Cville are convinced that everywhere else is in trouble but”not here”. In tha last 3years prices have drifted off even though every agent has said we are seeing some pockets of strength. Surely helping sellers realize that there house is not worth what it was in 2007 would help. I have a small rental house here and know the tax assessment is generous by about 20%. in the 1-2 million bracket only approx 30 houses were sold last year yet inventory stays the same about 300+… any very rarely to prices get lowered. So do you think it’s right to write we may see prices go up this year…. Sorry to vent but the bracket I’m looking in need a reality check….

    1. Jim Duncan February 2, 2012 at 07:10

      Thanks for your comment … it’s true I’ve written this before – Case Shiller doesn’t track our market – we’re not one of the 20 that they use in their index, thus, it’s not relevant. 

      Indignant sellers? I’ve seen some of them. That’s fine; if they don’t need/want to sell, the best I as a buyer’s agent can do is represent my clients’ interests with data and analysis.

      A quick look through the properties that sold last year in the 800k to 2 million range shows that:

      – 61 sold in Charlottesville and Albemarle

      to pick a few - 

      – One started at $2.5 million and sold for $1.25 million
      – One started at $1.297 mil and sold for $835k
      – One started at $1.695 mil and sold for $1.45 million.
      – One started at $1.295 million and sold for $1.595 million (looks like dual agency on this one, too 🙂 ) 

      There has absolutely been a shift in this segment of the market; I know of a short sale in this price range, too.

      Any seller who hasn’t had a reality check yet either doesn’t have representation or hasn’t been paying attention. 

      The properties are there, and they are selling … 

      1. Andrewlbarry February 3, 2012 at 09:54

        Thanks for the response.

        Schiller is used as a guide to the General strength of the US housing market and not used as a representation of 20 specific areas. If that was the case  every major Equity index would not pay attention to it.  I might be wrong but I can only say why and how the number is used. Charlottesville may lead but more likely lag this economic indicator.

         House numbers, i was looking at albermale above 1m which was 3% of total sales. Granted should have included Cville sales as I included unsold million plus houses in the city.
        Im more frustrated than venting as i lost the one house i wanted and have seen so many in this bracket who have not adjusted their price in three years. You are right some are selling but these are the houses which are actually worth what the sellers think they are. The very best ones are even sold before they get on the market.  I find I  am looking through lists of the same houses, a huge number of which I have seen and they all want top dollar.


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