Charlottesville Area Real Estate Market Report – 3rd Quarter 2020

The Charlottesville area real estate market is up. No, it’s down. It’s flat.

Q: How is the Charlottesville area real estate market doing?

A: It depends on your market segment

Short takeaway on the Charlottesville market: In most market segments, we have very low inventory, buyer demand is up, interest rates are low.

It’s impossible to write a “how’s the market” post that is going to be what it needs to be to matter. The best real estate advice needs to be timely, accurate, and most importantly, contextually relevant to the client who needs that specific and particular real estate advice. This type of “here’s the market update” post is meaningful to get a top-level “the market is mostly appreciating” or “we’re in the middle of a crash” perspective, but is not especially helpful for those who are considering buying or selling, or renovating or not renovating their homes.

If you want to know how the market is doing, and get an answer that is relevant to you, ask me.

The questions most people are asking

  • Can/should I buy a house now?
  • Can/should I sell my house now?

Answers: it depends.

Yeah, I know. But that’s the right answer.

Look behind the headlines.

  • If you’re looking at buying new construction, I’ll have one answer. If you’re looking at selling and competing with new, I’ll have a different perspective.
  • If you’re debating selling and buying locally, that’s one conversation.
  • As is renovating, staying, and falling in love with your home all over again

As I told several clients yesterday, I have reasonable confidence that I could market and sell their homes, but finding them a home to buy and afford may be a different conversation.

Fun with numbers

In Albemarle County, from 1 January to 1 November:

  • 1,122 contracts have been written on single family homes
  • 178 of those are marked in the MLS as new construction
  • Of the 178, 156 are on less than one acre
  • Of the 1,122, 628 are on less than one acre
  • Of the 1,112, 262 are not marked as being in a subdivision

A bit narrower for some context

If you’re looking for a home that is between $400K and $600K, with at least four bedrooms, two baths, on less than half an acre (to get you in a neighborhood), there were 189 ratified contracts in all of Albemarle County.

Now, if you’re looking for a newer home (built since 2015), there were 71 contracts. And then, because most buyers need to be close to something in particular, I’ll look at the elementary school districts (the easiest way to geographically limit searches).

  • Baker-Butler (North) – 1
  • Hollymead (North) – 0
  • Brownsville (West) – 38
  • Crozet (West) – 9
  • Agnor Hurt (central-ish) – 2
  • Broadus Wood (north west) – 0
  • Greer (central-ish) – 0
  • Meriwether Lewis (west) – 0
  • Murray (west) – 0
  • Mountainview (formerly Cale) – 2
  • Red Hill (South) – 0
  • Stony Point (East) – 0
  • Stone Robinson (East) – 18

Why provide this context? Because where you’re looking, and what you’re looking for will matter. Are you looking for that needle in the haystack, or will you have a plethora of options from which to choose?

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