Charlottesville Real Estate Boom + Low Inventory = High Stress, Price Increases

Two stories this week of note in the Charlottesville press

Alison Wrabel writes in the Daily Progress – Real-estate report finds low inventory, high competition in Central Virginia

“I think that the localities need to bring in more jobs and more employment centers that will be able to provide good incomes for families and individuals to make a living that allows them to live here,” he said.

He said there are a lot of people willing to sell, but they are unsure where their next step will be because of the low inventory.

“I think that the increase in pricing is a typical response to high demand and low inventory,” Duncan said. “I think that the only way to bring balance into it is going to be lesser demand, and I think that’s in everybody’s disinterest to have a less desirable place to live.”

He said there are a lot of micro-markets in the Charlottesville area and it’s important to talk with an agent who can help interpret reports such as the one released Tuesday.

Lisa Provence in C-Ville writes The boom is back — New construction is seeing a resurgence

The Great Recession is officially over. The evidence? Building permits in 2016 were the highest since 2007 housing-bubble levels. Construction is going on all over the area, from 5th Street Station to West Main to U.S. 29 north. And a recent Weldon Cooper Center population study pegs the Charlottesville area as booming.

While the final numbers aren’t in, Albemarle director of community development Mark Graham says permits for residential units in 2016 could be around 850, a level not seen since 2007’s 831 permits and far exceeding the 514 issued in 2015. “This may be a banner year,” he says. “Residential development really took off.”

Albemarle encourages higher-density development in the 5 percent of the county designated as a growth area in an attempt to keep sprawl from blanketing the rural areas. And the pedestrian-oriented neighborhood model with commercial use thrown in tries to create urbanish centers—even if the development is in the middle of a former cow pasture.

“People are buying into the growth area,” says Graham. “We’re not seeing the same amount of rural area development.” Currently about 20 percent of development is taking place in rural areas, down from about one-third in 2007, he says.

And on the Nest Blog, New Construction Home Market insight

(Nest Realty): Looking city by city, what were your findings?

(Greg Slater): The City of Charlottesville saw a decrease in new homes sales of 20%, while Albemarle saw an increase of 28%. This is generally driven by new developments and where they occur, geographically. There are fewer opportunities to build within the City limits.

NR: Do you see this trend continuing in 2017?

GS: With Phase 2 of Lochlyn Hill, which is served by Greenbrier Elementary, 2017 holds the opportunity for those seeking new construction within the City.

 

But

As I noted in January’s Monthly Note (you can subscribe here)

I showed a house recently on a Sunday during a public open house. It was a nearly-great house in the City of Charlottesville and priced well. Even in January, when inventory is supposed to be low, quality inventory seems lower than that to which we are accustomed.

The open house was busy. At least 80 sets of buyers came through the house. At least 80. 80.

Another house had at least 4 offers within 36 hours. Another had an offer waive the home inspections.

Make good decisions – whether as a buyer or seller – with competent, professional guidance. Really.

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