April 2024 Charlottesville Real Estate Reddit AMA

Let’s see where we are. If you’re interested, here’s January’s AMA. Thank you to those who participated last time, and I’m hoping to learn something today.

Quick level-setting 1 January to 13 April 2024:

Charlottesville City

New Resale Listings: 169. 128 last year.

Resale Contracts: 125, Median Price: $493,500. 108/$432,500 last year.

Solds: 90, Median price: $517,500 . 76/ $407,500 last year.

New Home Listings: 7, all but 7 in Lochlyn Hill.

Albemarle County

New Resale Listings: 421. 418 last year.

Resale Contracts: 333, Median Price:$485,000 382/$490,000 last year.

Solds: 235, Median price: $515,000. 253/$445,900 last year.

New Home Solds: 99, Median price: $554,834. 127/$480,000 last year.

– 2024: 40 detached, median price:$800K. 49 attached, median price: $459,900

– 2023: 34 detached, median price: $787K . 84 attached, median price: $455,591

 

A few thoughts:

  • Houses are selling. Charlottesville + Albemarle, there have been 458 resale contracts; median days on market was 5, and average was 27. 282 went under contract in 7 days or less.
  • Price. Matters. “If you’re not under contract after the first two weekends, you might be overpriced. In other words, if you’re not under contract after the first two weekends, a price reduction might be in order, because today’s buyers are watching the market in their specific market segment like proverbial hawks. They know the market.”
  • Rates are high; a lot of today’s buyers have read stories about when rates were sub-4%. The market memory is short; I remember being asked in 2016 if the market had ever been bad. Buyers of 2024 know and feel interest rates in the 6s and 7s.
  • The mortgage rate lock-in is real; I have numerous clients who would like to move, yet their rate is below 4%, and prices have risen so fast and high that selling/buying is not an option — especially if they want to stay in Central Virginia.
  • We need more construction and cohesive infrastructure – between Charlottesville, Albemarle, UVA. This is an amazing chart and story, breaking down the costs of new construction.
  • It’s still too early to make any conclusions about the City of Charlottesville’s new zoning. I suspect we’ll have a better handle on those effects in 18 months. No, I won’t comment on current listings that are seeking to take advantage of speculation on the market increase due to zoning. 1) I don’t think it’s ethical 2) I wouldn’t want that commentary on my clients’ listings and 3) If I knew what the market was going to do in 12 or 18 or 36 I’d … well, I’d still be doing this because I love it. 🙂
  • I did numbers through 13 April as contracts over the weekend are still being negotiated/haven’t been put into the MLS as of yet (I have two buyers anxiously waiting to hear back from sellers).

 

For legal compliance/disclosure, I am a Partner and realtor with Nest. I’m doing the AMA to help people understand the market, and selfishly, I get better at what I do when y’all ask good questions. 🙂 All data is pulled from Charlottesville MLS.

My favorite questions:

What impact (if any) has the NAR settlement/lawsuit been having?

So far at least locally the effect has been somewhat minimal For me, I have used buyer broker agreements for decades, so that’s not really a change…

We are seeing some experimentation with offerings, and assuming the settlement goes through, new forms are introduced in June / July by Virginia Realtors I expect conversations to change, but don’t know how much immediate impact there will be.

The settlement is still proposed, so anything I would say now would be relatively well researched and well read speculation, but speculation nonetheless.

Biggest takeaways for consumers, I think, remain that they need to have open dialogue with their Realtors – both buyer and sellers – and understand this new environment. And ask these questions of the agents you’re interviewing.

I think there are some real challenges to be had, I suspect we may see a loss of agents, and tiers of compensation based on experience and reputation, but at the end of the day, I firmly believe that people who need representation should seek it out… Not everybody needs a realtor, but those who do , recognize the value and process.

I haven’t spoken to anyone in the industry who actually believes that lawsuits and settlements lead to lower costs for consumers. Not just in real estate, but in business in general. And I don’t think this is any different.


What’s the best time to list it? It’s raw land

When you’re ready to sell. Raw land is less subject to the market cycles (school year) than residential.


People “locked into” houses because of mortgage rates will be selling real damn quick once prices start falling; triggering a large rush to sell, and precipitous price reductions. 30-50% decrease in prices coming.

In my experience, people sell because of death, divorce, marriage, babies, downsizing, or job changes… What is the logic that because prices are falling people are going to sell?

Where are they going to buy? Are they going to rent? Wait for the market to stabilize? Camp somewhere?

Housing is not necessarily a commodity like a stock that one might sell before the bottom craters. If your mortgage payment is X, and prices rise, your payment is still pretty much X, and if prices fall, your payment is still pretty much X.

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