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Year-End Review of the Charlottesville Real Estate Market

So far* in 2011, more homes have sold this year in Charlottesville and Albemarle than sold last year in the same timeframe. Who knew?

Charlottesville Albemarle area home sales so far for 2011

Charlottesville Albemarle area home sales for the first 11 months of 2010

Listen to the podcast of my discussion with Coy Barefoot as we look back at the 2011 Charlottesville real estate market and a look forward to 2012.

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I’m not saying that the depression is over, but the fact that more homes have sold in Charlottesville and Albemarle, year over year, is a good thing. That the outlying counties’ numbers are down is due to a slew of factors, from foreclosures and short sales to people acting on their desires to be close to stuff. Walkability=Affordability=Profitability=Livability

Attitudes of Young Americans Bode Ill for Housing Recovery (Forbes) – This is something that is going to affect all real estate markets, not just Charlottesville’s, for years (decades?).

The lack of assets isn’t the only encumbrance to housing: Echo Boomers value education, people and leisure more than other American generations.  Of the Echo Boomers I spoke with, 13% were homeowners, yet less than a third reported interest in owning a home someday (with female Echo Boomers wanting homes more than male Echo Boomers).  They preferred graduate degrees, living in social areas (not suburbs) and freedom instead of homeownership.  A few of these Echo Boomers will need a decade to pay off their student loans after which another large loan, like a mortgage, might lack appeal.  And while suburbs seem to offer community and safety, they also add transportation costs with a lack of social diversity.

Goodbye, 0-5 Buyer -OR- Finance a House or an Education? (RealCentralVA)

People are staying in their homes longer – whether by choice or necessity. If selling is not a viable option, you need to fall in love with your house all over again.

Residential Remodeling Index at new high in October (Calculated Risk)

Now in Vogue: Practical Remodeling (Wall Street Journal)

UVA Credit Union’s Power Saver Loan

These new PowerSaver loans will offer qualified homeowners up to $25,000 to make energy-efficient improvements of their choice, such as replacement doors and windows, metal or asphalt roofs, HVAC systems, water heaters, insulation, duct sealing, solar panels, ground source heat pump systems and more.

Interest Rates are still historically low – and they won’t start to matter until they rise.

Shadow Inventory – What will it’s affect be on the Charlottesville real estate market?

Shadow Inventory graphic from USA Today
(thanks to KCM Blog for pointing this out)

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Albemarle County property assessments are out

Witness today’s Daily Progress article; getting ahead of the curve is valuable.The average reassessment increases or decreases, by magisterial district, are:- Rio: .81 percent- Jack Jouett: .43 percent- Rivanna: .57 percent- Samuel Miller: minus 1.18 percent- Scottsville: 1.4 percent- White Hall: minus .79 percent- Town of Scottsville: minus .46 percent.The County’s website has not yet been updated, but hopefully will be shortly.Contrast the above numbers with last year’s assessments -The average annual increases for specific magisterial districts are as follows (biennial increases are in parenthesis):- Rio 13.57 % (27.14 %)- Jack Jouett 11.27 % (22.54 %)- Rivanna 14.98 % (29.96 %)- Samuel Miller 15.64 % (31.28 %)- Scottsville 15.54 % (31.08 %)- White Hall 16.72 % (33.44 %)- Town of Scottsville 15.93 % (31.87 %)Get caught up on assessments with this story from last week, this one from two weeks ago (with my offer to homeowners for help contesting assessments)….  Visit Brian’s excellent school board blog for the context of this quote:So, depending on how you look at it, the school system is 45%, 47%, or 61% (adding debt, capital, self-sustaining) of the County budget and property taxes contribute either 62% or 45%.I’d argue that we’re all adjusting to the new economy – meaning working with less money….  As a first step, property owners are encouraged to contact the appraiser responsible for the appraisal, and owners have until the last business day of February to appeal their reassessment to the Assessor’s Office.  If satisfaction is not achieved, a second option is available to owners through an appeal to the Board of Equalization, which is comprised of Albemarle citizens who have completed instructional training from the Department of Taxation.

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Morning links June 1 2006

Marketing challenge – how would you do it?  Finding the balance between branding a real estate company and maintaining the “buzz” of a new listing is more and more daunting.But the tangle of options also requires any successful marketing plan to take into account the nature of the product, its durability in the public’s mind and the advertising budget needed to make it all work.Digital real estate roundup – they aren’t viable in the CharlAlbemarle market yet, but they will be.  Which ones will survive?Is podcasting’s slow growth due to a bad name?  We have been podcasting our listings for some time now – with marginal results.  Are we just ahead of the curve?The 108-year-old phone tax may yet have life.

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Links of interest 05-05-06

It’s a busy week; these are a few of thing items worth paying attention to.Thus, even with both the price increases and the recent the upward creep in interest rates, homes are still more affordable than they were before 1992.After much debate, Albemarle BoS decides that encouraging 1,000 high-paying jobs to move here is a good thing.The green home trend continuesAlbemarle County BoS progressively adopts podcasting its meetings!

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Congratulations to Sean!

Kudos to Sean Tubbs, founder of the Charlottesville Podcasting Network, who has been named a finalist for VPTC’s Community Award.  (Thanks to CvilleTomorrow for the heads-up) Sean has been instrumental in my business development through the podcasts that he has produced.  Through his services, others have been inspired.  I’m glad I know him and I hope he wins.

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Albemarle Place update & podcast

Charlottesville Tomorrow has a podcast of Dennis Rooker’s appearance on WINA’s Charlottesville Live morning program.  I hope that there is enough traffic and comments to encourage WINA to podcast their shows, both their morning show and their new afternoon show with Coy Barefoot.  I expect that the afternoon show is probably very good, but I have not been able to listen yet.

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