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There is No “New Normal” in the Real Estate Market

“Normal” is “now”.

Homeownership Rates - via Calculated Risk

– Human settlement patterns (where people are living and working)

– Gas prices

– Expectation of permanence/transience

– Interest rates

– Property tax rates

– Monetary supply

– The internet’s availability and impact

Those are just a few of the ways that 1999 differs from 2011, and makes application of “normal” challenging.

Here’s something that hasn’t changed – people need homes. Buying a house is a choice, and one that comes with greater responsibility than renting – you’re accepting on the maintenance, the permanence, the mortgage, the community, the risk. If you’re not ready for those, don’t buy a house. If you’re ready to buy a home, do your due diligence and consider it.

“New normal” is a shifting term, applicable to virtually every evolving industry.

Heck, I’ve been seeking “new normal” for years.

But I thought I’d look at the data and briefly compare the 1999 Charlottesville area real estate market with the 2011 one … keeping in mind that so many things are different, thus negating in a lot of ways the comparisons.

1999 to 2011 - all home types

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Friday Chart – Is this the New Normal for the Charlottesville Real Estate Market?

Looking at the number of transactions so far this year* in the Charlottesville MSA – Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Nelson – for all kinds of property – condo, attached, single family, farms … in this dataset there are going to be outliers and anomalies, but with a set this large, we’re really looking for trending analysis. … Maybe we are witnessing the “new normal” for the Charlottesville real estate market, and it’s something that we’re just going to have to get used to.

…While dramatic increases in productivity could theoretically take up the slack, that may be too much to ask of a generation whose education, for the first time in American history, ranked in the bottom third of developed nations. … “The trend is most visible,” they write, “in the transition from a G-7 to a Group of 20 model of international decision making which includes influential and deep-pocketed developing countries like Brazil, China, India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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Level-setting the 2024 Charlottesville – Albemarle Real Estate Market

2023 continued the 15 year-plus trend of too little inventory, and more buyers than sellers. Market dynamics seen before (supply & demand), and dynamics unseen (skyrocketing rates & increasing rather than decreasing sales prices). This is a level-setting post, not one from which to draw conclusions. Example: in the first 9 days of 2022, there were 8 new resale listings in the MLS; in the first 9 days of 2023, there were 22 new listings, and in the first 9 days of 2024, there have been 28 new listings. Is this a trend, a sign of what 2024 will be, or nothing meaningful at all? We’ll see.

The “normal” Charlottesville real estate market is the market we are in right now. …

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