This New Yorker article is hilarious, sad, and true.
Congratulations! Our magazine has just declared your beloved city the most livable in America, and we cannot wait to tell our millions of readers about it. You must be thrilled that your previously under-the-radar, midsize, relatively traffic-free haven is finally getting the recognition it deserves! It’s our unique joy to bring this fine municipality to the attention of so many unhappy New Yorkers with remote jobs and salaries that seem insane to you.
Your city ranked pretty highly in affordability. Housing costs are so reasonable, it’ll be a breeze for young Manhattanites to buy their first homes for sixty thousand dollars over asking price, in cash. And all the adorable, small houses in the area will soon benefit from the cool shade of dozens of identical luxury-condo buildings. You haven’t even finished reading this article, and already you can hear the faint sound of bamboo floors being installed.
As I commented on the Charlottesville Reddit thread:
- Median sold price for all housing types (2,337 homes via MLS) in Charlottesville + Albemarle in 2022 was $475K.
- Median sold price for single family houses (1,534) was $582,260; average was $711,101.
Looking a bit more narrowly
In Charlottesville + Albemarle in 2002, 1,345 homes sold via the Charlottesville MLS. Average sales price was $316,640 and median sales price was $242,750.
In 2023 in Charlottesville + Albemarle, 1,535 homes sold via the MLS*. Average sales price was $711,273 and the median sales price was $582,620.
Narrow looks matter.
Yes, over time houses tend to appreciate. Every micro market is different – the Charlottesville condo market is different than the Albemarle one, and the Charlottesville 1960’s brick ranch will be a different product that a newish home in Albemarle.
I advise my clients to buy a home to live their lives, and when the time is right, think about selling. As one of my early quasi-mentors said though, “you make your money when you buy, and not when you sell.”
Said differently, I’ll give you the best most relevant information about today’s market and tomorrow’s projections to help you make a great decision whether to buy or sell right now.
Charlottesville and Albemarle remain great places to live. Are we inexpensive? No.
Do we have traffic? Yes.
As a client who lived where they had “real” traffic told me once when I was commenting on our traffic, if we live in a place with no traffic, that’s a sign of stagnation and people not wanting to live there — don’t we want to have some traffic?
Do we have great access to music, arts, hiking, biking, education? Yep.
Still a great place to live, even in 2023.
And here’s the thing
For many, if not most of my clients, housing is not a commodity to be traded every few years. Their homes are their home bases, the places from which they live, raise families (of kids or dogs and/or cats), and leverage for life stability – that invaluable feeling that should you want to move, that will (usually) be a decision that they make, rather than to be made for them by their landlord.
On that note, if you have a question about buying or selling a home in Charlottesville, I’m always happy to have a conversation. Over the past two weeks alone, I’ve spoken to people who are evaluating if now or in two years would be the best time for them to make those decisions. A conversation can help. 🙂
For kicks and giggles, I asked ChatGPT:
“How much have housing prices in Charlottesville, Virginia appreciated over the past 20 years, and please cite sources”
The answer shows that the AI is still in early days, but it knows where to find the answers, which is one of the first steps to finding the answer.
It is difficult for me to accurately answer your question as my training data only goes up until 2021 and I do not have access to browse the internet to verify current information. I also do not have information on the specific appreciation of housing prices in Charlottesville, Virginia over the past 20 years.
However, I can tell you that in general, housing prices can vary significantly based on many factors such as location, demand, and economic conditions. It is possible to get an idea of trends in housing prices by looking at data from sources such as the National Association of Realtors, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or Zillow. These organizations may have data on the appreciation of housing prices in Charlottesville, Virginia over the past 20 years or longer.
“The majority of housing markets have seen between a 50% and 100% increase in price over the past 20 years.(1) According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for housing are 864.71% higher in 2022 versus 1967.(2) This is also true at the state level, where booming markets such as Hawaii saw price increases double the U.S. average. (1)