Friday, January 8, 2010

December Sales and Contracts in Charlottesville, Albemarle Real Estate - And the Local Shrinking Pool of Buyers

This week brought the news of the 16% decline in national pending home sales, which is leading to fears that housing will lead the US to a double-dip recession.

Below are some graphs with local numbers for single family homes, Q4 2009, for Charlottesville and Albemarle County via (and copyright) real estate agent Pam Dent.  

December is always slow, and this area may be more tied to the school year than some, but one might still have expected more contracts due to expanded tax credits and historically low interest rates.  

Locally, the pool of buyers, however, is shrinking: not only is there a lack of "move-up" buyers (a nation-wide problem) but those moving to the area for the short term, 1-5 years for University, hospital, or military programs / positions - may no longer be able to buy without expecting to lose money.

According to the Virginia Housing Development Authority, prices are going to continue to drop locally through 2010.  With mortgage, closing, and agent fees, declining home values may put short-term buyers immediately "under water," like the one in four American mortgage-holders already owing more than the home is worth.  

And inventory remains high: see today's post from RealCentralVA. 

Click for larger image in new window.

Click for larger image in new window.

To see these graphs in their original format, go here.

As a recap, according to CAAR, total sales as of Q3 2009:

Albemarle County sales down 50% from 2005 peak
Charlottesville sales down 48% from 2006 peak
Fluvanna County sales down 63% from 2005 peak
Greene County sales down 45% from 2005 peak
Louisa  County sales down 36% from 2005 peak
Nelson County sales down 71% from 2005 peak
Orange County sales down 55% from 2005 peak

Those sales volumes in '05 and '06 were a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Virginia Housing Development Authority Forecast

Sales and Prices of Single Family Homes Through November 2009
Graphs and Charts of Area Appreciation, Sales, Unemployment, more



seller taking $100+k loss mls 472627 557 sq foot condo for $150K in court square


Real C'ville - The Bubble Blog said...

MLS 472627: to clarify this somewhat confusing comment:

a condo at 500 Court Square, 557 sq ft, has

*asking price : $149,900

*$269 / sq ft current asking price

*current owner bought in 2003 at $263,900

*assessed at $105,000