October 2015 Monthly Note | (Insert Excuse Here) Charlottesville Market, Videos, Big Responsibility

Archives of my subscription-only monthly notes. The blog is more searchable. Interested in not waiting a few months to read it? Learn more here.   For these posts, I don’t do much formatting/changing as I’m more concerned about having the content here.

I’d offer an excuse for not publishing a note in September, but I’ll not waste your time. This will still be a short note while November’s will be long*. A few quick things for your consideration:

The Market

Despite my not publishing since 14 August, I’m rather excited to be looking at more than one month’s data. Tracking the market on a monthly basis, while interesting and useful, tends to yield less accurate insights than when one examines broader timeframes. Sometimes I think we track the market too closely.

Looking at the data – what jumps out at you? About what data points do you have questions?

Notes as I run through the data for August + September 2015 vs August + September 2014:

  • Reduction in City attached home inventory is likely due to new construction product not being put into the MLS … it’s coming though.
  • Surprisingly, inventory in Albemarle County is up about 9% … quality inventory remains a challenge. Buyers want quality homes into which they fit immediately, with little work, unless that work is expected, and perhaps most importantly, they feel like they are getting a very good value.
  • Contracts in the County are mostly flat (down 6 – 54 in 2015 vs 60 in 2014) while the City is up 18 (28%)

Flat and stable are good.

I sort of wish I had new advice, but for sellers – if your house needs some work, price very aggressively. If it’s in near-perfect condition, you may be able to push the market a bit. Buyers – I’m starting to hear from some of you.

The spring market starts now. Now is the time to start (if you haven’t already) your research. Learn the neighborhoods, figure out your projected life patterns, your triangles, the things you want/need to be close to.

Now, the data, first for Albemarle County

# of New Listings – 2015 vs. 2014:

Single family homes: 255 vs. 233 — Now, that’s a good sign.

Attached homes: 67 vs. 69 — We’ll call this flat

Condos: 21 vs. 29 — I suspect this is a function of supply

# of Contracts

Mostly flat across all categories.

# of Solds

Attached and condos were mostly flat, but single family solds were down 18 (11%) from 178 in 2014 to 160 in 2015; I suspect this is attributable largely to not enough quality supply.

City of Charlottesville

# of New Listings – 2015 vs. 2014:

Single family homes: 76 vs. 67 – Now, that’s a good sign – up 12%

Attached homes: 11 vs. 16 – smallish data point; anomaly?

Condos: 12 vs. 10 – going to go ahead and call this flat, too

# of Contracts

Single family homes: up to 65 from 47 in 2014. This is a pretty big jump.

Attached homes: down from 11 to 5. A similarly noticeable decline.

Condos: down from 13 in 2014 to 6 in 2015. Hmmm.

# of Solds

Single family homes: 63 closed in August + September 2015 vs 55 in that timeframe of 2014

Attached: 9 and 9

Condos: Down from 13 to 6. Supply + still-risky/challenging condo financing.

Now for the Year to Date numbers (January – September)


Single family homes: UP. 835 in 2015 vs 781 in 2014 — That’s a big bump.

Attached: 299 and 283; I see this starting to decline as the year wanes; townhomes are truly seasonal.

Condos: UP to 99 from 72! Candidly, I’m surprised by this. There aren’t any new developments that would explain this somewhat surprising bump.


Single family homes: Down a bit to 299 from 312

Attached: Up to 54 from 46; this puts the contracts decline into a bit of context.

Condos: Flat at 58.

Also: we released the Nest Report for 3rd Quarter 2015.

The quote of the quarter, and maybe the year from an awesome first-time-homebuyer-client:
I’m building a house! Now I have a Pinterest account.


Every 7 to 10 years

Every 7 to 10 years. That’s about how often most consumers interact with a real estate agent. That’s a heckuva responsibility that we as agents share.

A great, good, even a mediocre experience can lead to a consumer looking to that agent the next time a real estate need arises. A bad one? That consumer may be turned off by the real estate profession forever.

For the agents who read this note (I know you read, even though you’re decidedly not the audience I’m aiming for!) – think about this when you’re representing a client. If you’re not competent, please stop.

For the consumers (who are my audience) – if you have a good experience, please remember that. If you have a bad one, please know that not all agents suck. If you chose an agent who does only one or two transactions a year, you share responsibility.  (good markets bring out the agents; most agents don’t do anything).

Two videos

Would you send this video to your friends?

Crozet real estate conversation; this is a really fun project.

From the blogs

RealCentralVA — August (9 stories) and September (7 stories)

RealCrozetVA — August (7 stories) and September (9 stories)

Two reviews

1 – This review by a client was so touching, I told my mom about it.
2 – This one, too. The closing damn near made me tear up. “Maybe not everyone thinks of their Realtor in their last weeks of pregnancy… but then maybe you didn’t have a Realtor as great as Jim.”

What I’m reading

– Millennials Aren’t the Only Generation Moving Back in With Their Parents
– Is GPS ruining our ability to navigate for ourselves? (short answer: Yes.)
– Taking it personally
– Is your home about to get a lot smarter?
– The House That Could Save the World
– Small one and I went to our 3rd Festy together; these are the last two sets by the Infamous Stringdusters. Worth a listen.
More US troops deployed in another country; I just wish we could focus for a bit on fixing our own country.
If you’re not paranoid, you’re crazy. *Must Read* Related: Your credit score is racist.

Have a question? Comment? Call me anytime – 434-242-7140 or just hit “reply” to this email. Best reply/comment/insight gets a donation made in their name to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

— Jim

* This is the first note in many months that the note hasn’t been heavily edited. Next month’s will be. 

Jim on: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn Subscribe to RealCentralVA | Jim’s Instagram

Jim Duncan, Nest Realty, 126 Garrett Street Suite D, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Licensed real estate agent in Commonwealth of VA.

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