Browsing Category Louisa

Low Housing Inventory Continues in Charlottesville and Albemarle

If you look solely at the numbers, it looks like housing inventory is up. Not so.

I’ve been thinking for months that we’d be seeing more housing inventory on the market by now. It’s not yet here.

Comparing the first 9 days of February of this year versus last – 116 new listings came on last 1-9 February versus 50 this 1-9 February.

For the MSA (Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson) – 84 this 1-9 February and 210 last 1-9 February.

I’m confused. I know this: I have buyers who are looking for homes to to, and we can’t find them. I get emails frequently from buyers’ agents who are looking for homes for their buyers, and they can’t find them.

If you’re interested, here’s a bit more data:

The Sales and Inventory report for Charlottesville and Albemarle

The Sales and Inventory report for the Charlottesville MSA

Update 18 February 2014: this is not merely a Charlottesville – Albemarle MSA trend. Redfin’s post today is outstanding.

Redfin agents say the downturn in demand is uneven. “The picture-perfect homes are selling just as fast as last year, often drawing a dozen or more offers,” according to Redfin Washington, D.C. agent Philip Gvinter. “But now the undesirable properties that would have sold in a few months last year aren’t selling at all. The biggest change is in between, with the sort-of-desirable homes. Last year, these homes got multiple offers and sold quickly. Now, they are getting only one offer during the first week, sometimes having to reduce their price, and the home is taking three to six weeks to sell.”

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April 2012 Charlottesville Real Estate Market Report


– Days on Market (an inherently flawed data point) are down in Charlottesville, Albemarle and Fluvanna.

– Average Sales prices are down (not surprising)

– Total sales across the MSA are down (not surprising)

Thoughts/initial conclusions:

– More buyers are looking to be closer in/closer to stuff

– Good properties are selling and selling quickly

– Interest rates remain low – a good thing for buyers.

– I think we may have pulled the spring market forward a bit; the early spring may have pulled transactions into the earlier months of the year.

Dead simple Takeaways:

– Buyers: do your due diligence, don’t let emotion enter the equation and make sound, rationale decisions with the intent of holding the property for at least five to seven years

– Sellers: do your due diligence and realize that buyers most often don’t have to buy, but want to buy – it’s your job to make them want to buy your house. This means: price, presentation, perfection … and a great location and setting.

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Connected communities

As our region continues to grow, each area has its own perspective on how to handle growth – Orange County – Resident, after resident, after resident lined up to speak in strong disapproval to the proposed Annandale development.  The 244 acre site would sit just outside of Gordonsville and house nearly 500 single family homes for people ages 55 and up.  Some residents felt this many homes could destroy the small town feel.Nelson County – In addressing Nellysford, Rue said there could be three routes taken to complete the plan.  They include long-term transportation and business growth, a focus of safety issues on Virginia 151 or a plan that looks at safety as well as business growth.Louisa County: questions are raised regarding the mixed-use implementation as they revise their Comprehensive Plan – The suggested changes would define “very low density residential development” as one dwelling unit per acre and “low density residential development” as up to two dwelling units per acre.  High density residential development would be defined as more than six units per acre….  (and one person remarked) “If [one house per acre] is very low density,” she said, “I don’t know what life is going to be like around here.”What if a rural county wants to maintain its rural character?  And one of my favorites comes from Trish, who laments the changing landscape of the CharlAlbemarle area – Why do we have to completely strip the land to build anything?…  The land-use decisions in Louisa will impact the real estate market in CharlAlbemarle – if more people are able to comfortably buy, live and work in Louisa, perhaps fewer people will move to CharlAlbemarle.

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