Tracking the Charlottesville Real Estate Market in 2023

There is a lot of real estate market data to be found in 2023. Is more data better?

Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors puts out pretty good quarterly market reports (here is 1st Quarter 2023’s market report), Altos Research, Redfin, Zillow, ShowingTime’s data showing large regional showing trends (pdf here)… there’s a lot of data, and while it’s all interesting, somewhat important, I’m not sure how useful it is if you’re reading this blog and wondering, “how am I affected by the real estate market?”

People are interested in the answers to only a couple questions

  • Can/should I buy a home right now? What’s that look like?
  • Can/should I sell my home right now? How much would I make (or lose, in a different market), and most importantly – where would I go?

I’m going to start doing monthly market stat posts again for Charlottesville and Albemarle. I did these many years ago, and we did them at Nest for a long time as well. I’m going to keep them simple, but my question for you is – what answers are you looking for? What are you curious about in the Charlottesville real estate market?

How are homes selling in Charlottesville & Albemarle in 2023?

I was curious, so I looked for homes that have sold in Charlottesville + Albemarle from 1 January 2023 to 12 May 2023.

# Sold % of Solds How Sold
207 29.28% Cash
10 1.41% ARM
370 52.33% Fixed
31 4.38% VA
16 2.26% FHA

 

An attorney I work with noted that about half the transactions they see are ARMs; perspective matters.

One of my goals with this blog, and most importantly with my clients is to provide the best, most relevant, most accurate data so my clients can make good decisions. One of the ways I do all of that is by looking at the numbers, digging in and feeling the market.

For some of these market posts, I’ll compare to another time, say 2019, and sometimes I won’t. Comparing pre-pandemic markets to 2023’s market is interesting, instructive, and is good market context, but I’d argue that for people who are debating whether to buy, sell, rent, move or not move, 2019 doesn’t really matter.

I wrote the following in 2006, and stand by it.

One of the problems with the housing market is the constant tracking of the housing market. The market has never been an immediately-liquid investment, and it ought not be treated as such. How many of you read every line of your quarterly IRA or 401(k) statements? Hopefully not, because those are intended to be long-term investments. So is housing.

The market is a bit like the axiom – “a watched pot never boils.”  We won’t know how the market is doing today until we look back from a six- to nine-month removed perspective.  We can gain insight by looking at the numbers – interest rates, 10 year Treasury notes, pending sales, recent solds … but to get an accurate understanding, we have to look in the rear-view mirror.

Most of the analysis is cogent, articulate and informative, but. Do we really need to track the market on a daily, if not seemingly hourly basis? Many contracts were written three, four, six months ago. In reality, when analyzing the housing market, one is analyzing the past and attempting to project the future.

Housing should be, except in rare instances, (at least a) three to five year decision. We have lost sight of that over the past several years. The media has played a very large part of that, but so have the buyers and sellers. Let’s take a breath, step back a bit, read the apocalyptical and rosy projections and determine that reality is probably somewhere in between.

What data points are you curious about?

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