The Sky Is Falling! - March 2014 Charlottesville RE Market Report

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

O.K., maybe the sky isn't falling EXACTLY, sure seems like it with yet another snowstorm pummeling and punishing us, today.

I know several of my buyers have remarked at extended market times some of our inventory has developed. Why? Well, I can pretty safely say that some of this longer than usual duration is due to our similarliy lengthened winter!

And, as is so often the case, buyers see opportunity when homes sit longer - seeing it as a sign that sellers must be distressed.

So, which is it? Are buyers senses accurate in forecasting seller motivations? Or, can the market's lag and depression be largely attributed to weather and depressed economy? Or, are sellers just pricing properties too high, a common ailment.

Let's discuss and see what conclusions we can decipher.

Sponsored By: The Charlottesville MLS

*  There are currently 729 single family detached homes for sale within the City of Charlottesville and surrounding Albemarle County (this will be our focus).

*  Prices range from $18,990 to $13,995,000 - pretty large range, huh? This kinda' highlights the wide demographic differences we have in our county, the 6th largest Virginia county.

Because our Statistical abilities are limited with our current IDX platform, we can only manipulate lists of less than 250 properties at a time. This is fine, though, because we want to highlight only Single Family homes with:

--> 4+ Bedrooms
--> 2+ Baths
--> Garage(s)
--> Basements

All the important features that (could) help any property retain value and appreciate quicker.

* Last Summer (6/1/2013-9/1/2013), the Average Difference between list to sale price was (-4.4%)  This with
          - 141 properties sold in those 3 months,
          - Avg Days on Market = 101 and
          - Avg Price/Sq Ft = $154

* This past Fall/Winter (9/2/2013-12/31/2013), from September-December, that difference was (-5.6%)  This with
           - 130 properties sold during those 4 months,
           - Avg Days on Market = 94 and
           - Avg Price/Sq Ft = $175

* So far this year, the difference has been (-5.6%) This with
           - 31 properties sold in a little over 2 months,
           - Avg Days on Market = 84 and
           - Avg Price/Sq Ft = $192


These stats look like the market is improving, with LESSENING days on market and RISING Price/Sq Ft !? What gives?

NOTE: Interest rates have gone up about a point, over the past year, (generally), so buyer's purchase ability has gone down by tens of thousands!

Sponsored By: The Charlottesville MLS

Are my buyer's presumptions correct? Would it be better to wait until

- "Spring" market starts in full bloom?
- which could mean more properties available for sale?
- Which could mean more desperate sellers vying for same small pool of buyers?
- Which would mean prices would go down?

Or, am I correct(ed) now, by saying that it looks like

- There WILL be some more properties available, but they will simply offer that small pool of eager buyers new options, while the aging inventory will remain unsold and suffer from the circumstances and decisions made at their initial listing
-There won't be a huge flooding of inventory. In fact, many properties unsold from before will be re-listed in an attempt to capture the eyes of buyers new to market and so unseen by them previously
- Interest rates WILL continue to climb and every % point will decrease buyers ability to buy by thousands
- The steady rise in price/sq ft will continue, another factor lowering buyers' purchasing power
- Many buyers, wooed by the cosmetic beauty and newness of planned construction offerings, will, by opting in favor of it, later find it difficult to recoup any gain
- This will keep new construction prices rising and buyer's negotiation requests unheard and unminded by contractors
- Buyers will be forced to give up wishes for larger lots, amenities, favored schools, and forget any special incentives builder was offering until just recently

 I understand the desire to buy new.

Buying a brand new home ensures:

1. No problems exist with home/lot, right?
2. Everything is built to your specifications and tastes, right?
3. You get all the newest, best, and greatest add-ons and extras available, right?
4. You're buying when market is depressed, so you SHOULD get SOME equity, eventually, right?


I'd be more than happy to discuss the realities of some of these assumptions, in light of our current economy, or separate from it. AND, this is not to say I haven't, and won't continue to do so, sold many new construction and spec homes. For the right person, the right circumstances, the right price, and the right every season, Turn, Turn, Turn?

In the meantime, I say we should talk. Opportunities come by every day. You need to recognize them for what they represent to you, your family, and your set of particular and special circumstances.

Sponsored By: The Charlottesville MLS and



Posted by

Fulton Gaylord-Associate Broker, ABR, SRES, e-Pro
Certified REO Specialist, Registered HUD Agent
Keller Williams Realty
3510 Remson Ct., Ste 301 Charlottesville, VA. 22901


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Fulton Gaylord

1st-Time Home Buyer Realtor - Charlottesville, VA
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