Thoughts on Housing Prices in Charlottesville – Early November 2022

I am probably wrong, but less wrong because I’m not really going to make predictions about what housing prices are going to do in the Charlottesville – Albemarle real estate market in 2023 and beyond. Prediction: 2023 will bring fewer homes on the market, fewer homes selling, prices will shift downward, and people will still buy and sell homes because people need places to live.

Some quick thoughts on this question:

What is the general price difference of houses in Cville in 2022 versus 2019/20? Was it a dramatic increase or were prices relatively stable?

I’m confident that as we gain more hindsight, we’ll continue to conclude that mid-2020 to early-2022 was as anomaly in the real estate historical record. That said, I think 2018-2019 are good reference points for a “normal” market.

Keep in mind also that in 2010, Albemarle had 99,346 people and Charlottesville had 43,435 people. And the 2021 estimates were 114,424 and 51,079, respectively. (we don’t have enough housing)


# Sold Average Price
2017 1,675 $424,116
2018 1,667 $442,952
2019 1,734 $459,542
2020 1,752 $512,031
2021 2,072 $524,336
11-7-22 1,450 $599,175

Prices went up. Significantly. Interest rates were low, until they weren’t in the early to mid-part of 2022.

Sold - resale - attached + single family- Charlottesville + Albemarle
Sold – resale – attached + single family- Charlottesville + Albemarle

I wrote in July

“Take a $600K house, with 20% down, at 3.25% interest = PI of $2,089/month. Principal + interest (not including taxes and insurance).At 6%, for that $600K house, the PI is $2,878.
At 6%, a $2,086 monthly payment with 20% down will get you a $435K house.

Starting with a quick look at sold prices of resale homes in the City of Charlottesville  and County of Albemarle from 2017 through the first part of November, 2022

The Caveat and the Context

“Prices” is a big word.

Every micro-market is different. Condos have performed differently than attached homes, which have performed differently than single family homes, which in turn are different from each other. A four bedroom house in Forest Lakes likely has appreciated differently than a 1940 house in Scottsville — and those are lumped in together when you read a headline that says, “Single family homes in Albemarle County have done X this year.”

Dig in. Ask questions. Always.

I asked a friend, “If you were to pick one neighborhood to do a “this type of house sold for X average price and $/ft” for the past 12 years, which one would you pick?”

Forest Lakes was one of the two he suggested, and I’d already started pulling data for Forest Lakes by the time he responded. 🙂

Forest Lakes is large enough and the products are fairly similar, relatively speaking. Even so, I narrowed the search a bit.

I looked for single family homes in Forest Lakes and Forest Lakes South with at least four bedrooms and at least two bathrooms.

So far in 2022 (it’s 7 November as I write this), 32 homes have sold that meet that criteria, from $431K to $750K (NB: I represented the seller of the 2nd most expensive house to sell there this year; asking was $640K and it sold for $725K).

# sold $/ft Average price Avg sq foot
2010 37 $142 $382,736 2826
2011 31 $142 $392,041 2651
2012 38 $146 $391,439 2837
2013 33 $148 $389,260 2792
2014 50 $144 $406,011 2914
2015 52 $136 $414,078 3156
2016 58 $146 $410,080 2906
2017 45 $146 $434,270 3069
2018 44 $155 $422,779 2843
2019 34 $153 $454,926 3096
2020 36 $167 $451,583 2855
2021 44 $169 $491,459 2960
2022 32 $183 $581,481 3208

Looking in the City of Charlottesville

I thought I’d try to narrow things down a bit.Since 1 January 2017 to 7 November 2022, there have been 2,450 sold transactions in the City of Charlottesville. 2,246 were resales, ie, not marked as “new construction.”

So I looked for single family homes with between 3 and 4 bedrooms, and at least 2 bathrooms. This year, the sold prices have ranged from $212K to $2.25M; median price is $525K.

With that context:

# sold $/ft Average price Avg sq foot
2010 139 $153 $350,180 2260
2011 147 $159 $342,090 2128
2012 197 $162 $349,877 2125
2013 203 $168 $352,273 2108
2014 209 $174 $377,113 2155
2015 197 $176 $359,688 2063
2016 248 $182 $393,486 2183
2017 216 $196 $412,873 2094
2018 225 $207 $461,179 2201
2019 219 $215 $466,489 2176
2020 228 $226 $490,924 2165
2021 261 $262 $553,738 2130
2022 221 $279 $607,223 2177

The City of Charlottesville has a lot of brick ranches; but even those can be hard to compare. A house in Belmont is different than a house in North Downtown, and different than a house in the Greenbrier elementary school district.

It’s hard to quantify prices in the Charlottesville – Albemarle real estate markets from a “what happened/will happen to prices” conversation.

What I can do, when representing buyers or sellers, is to do what I always try to do — help my clients make good decisions by providing the best, most relevant data and to put that data into the context and conversation my clients need.

Questions? Ask me.

I write these types of posts because I like answering questions, but I especially like getting better at what I do. Answering these questions, and looking at the data forces me to evaluate the market in ways that I might not have otherwise looked at it, and hopefully that practice in that experience helps me better represent my clients.

Questions about the market? Curious if now or next year or the next might be the right time for you to buy or sell a home in the Charlottesville area? Ask me.

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