Inventory in Charlottesville and Albemarle – 2021 edition

How many homes will come on the market in Charlottesville or Albemarle that you’d be willing to buy in 2021?

A few years ago I wrote How Many Homes will Come on the Market in Albemarle County that Fit You? and How Many Homes will Come on the Market in Charlottesville that Fit You?.

I do this exercise with a lot of my clients, so that we can set expectations appropriately, and often, it’s the thing that causes a new-to-Charlottesville-area client to choose to rent first rather than buy.

  • If you’re buying new construction in the Charlottesville area, that’s one conversation.
  • If you’re buying or selling in the City of Charlottesville or urban ring of Albemarle County, that’s another conversation. Read the linked stories above for detailed insight into the $400K – $500K price point in Charlottesville and Albemarle. Granted those are from 2016, but they remain highly relevant.
  • Quick 2020 context 
    • In the City of Charlottesville, 551 homes sold. 478 were resales; average price was $438K. 73 were new; average price was $594K.
    • In Albemarle County, 1,936 homes sold. 1,510 were resales; average price was $505K. 426 were new; average price was $528K.
  • Those numbers above? They really don’t matter to most of my clients, as they’re not looking at the entire market; they’re looking at their micro market.
    • Curious about your micro market, and looking for representation? Ask me.

This is what I’ve been telling my clients

Short story, if you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Charlottesville or Albemarle, start your homework now. (start here – buyers, sellers).


Rough transcription

Hey, Jim Duncan with Nest Realty and RealCentralVA. 2021. We don’t know what it’s going to bring. Inventory has been a challenge for most of my 20 year career. Now it’s even worse, driven in large part by people choosing to stay in their homes for longer. When I started people would stay three to five years and now choose to stay for closer to 9 to 10 years, for a variety of reasons. One reason being that, if you bought for $300, you could sell for $400K and the next step up in our market’s going to be $600K, Low interest rates. And I think we’re seeing a fair amount of COVID traffic to, and from Charlottesville area. No great way to, to ascertain that as of yet. But if you’re looking to buy, get started now start learning your triangles, start learning.

Where do you want to be? What type of home you want to be in, et cetera? Typical transaction time is about 60 days. If you’re looking to sell, start the prep now if you haven’t already, I’ve linked to page on my blog with some tips for getting started. Declutter obviously, get rid of some personal stuff, do the painting, do the cleaning, do the, do the stuff that you already know. But what’s 2020 going to bring. We don’t know. … What about 2020? We lost March through June ish, due to getting acclimated to working, and existing in a pandemic. The last third of 2020 was busier than we’ve ever seen. Typically the Charlottesville market picks up in late February and March, linking an old, but relevant story here.

Contracts lag that by a bit, then closings by a little bit more and then thanks to use, to used to taper off in late summer. We don’t know what 2020 is going to bring. Yeah, it feels right now, like high demand properties. Things are going to be extremely busy. We’re going to see. I think that the, you know, if you’re looking for a house in the City of Charlottesville, three beds, two baths under $450K, it’s going to be a smoking hot property. Most likely.  If it’s a unique property, might have some more challenges. My advice to my clients and to you, if you’re watching this, is to learn your market, your micro market, figure out where you know, where your market is and learn that, frankly better than better than me, better than any other professional, because you’re the ones spending the money, um, get good advice, good guidance, ask lots of questions.

Understand that you’re making a significant life decision that is going to affect the rest of your lives. So short summary was 2021, It feels like if you’re going to sell your home and it’s one of these hot properties, price it correctly. If you’re going to sell your home and it’s not going to be a hot property, price it correctly. … depends on the property, the market, and how much work the seller is willing to put into the, into the, into the preparation. And from a buyer’s perspective, it really depends on what you’re looking for and, and, what  that product looks like.

And how long do you anticipate staying in that home? Every market’s different, whether it’s Charlottesville, Albemarle, Greene, Nelson, or Fairfax or anywhere else in the country, every market is different.  Ours is going to be interesting. And I’ve said interesting every year I’ve done this.

Do you have any questions? My name’s Jim Duncan, (434) 242-7140.

Quick look at one market segment in the City and County

In Albemarle County, under $400K, with at least three bedrooms and two baths, attached + condo + detached

In 2019, 12 homes were listed

In 2020, 38 homes were listed

So far in 2021, 21 homes have been listed

In the City of Charlottesville, under $400K, with at least three bedrooms and two baths, attached + condo + detached

10, 4, 7 respectively

Conclusion: it’s way too early to know what 2021 is going to do. I’ll tell you in 2022 what happened in 2021.

Related post from Calculated Risk – Housing Inventory Weekly Update: Starting the Year at Record Lows

And great market insight from Mike Simonsen with Altos Research

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