Just as the new facility opens, new data shows just how low real estate sales have dropped in Albemarle County. Once the federal Homebuyer Tax Credit expired, available from April '08 to April '10, the sale of single family home sales plunged 52%, while the sale of townhouses plunged 69%.
The DIA will boost the economy with new bodies needing materials and services, and it will boost the tax base. Most of these jobs, however, bring employees with them. Some of these folks will want to buy, but a good number will rent. And of the ancillary jobs created in the community (many of which will be food service, Lowes, and Walmart workers), the wages don't equal the ability to buy a "home."
The bubble's not likely to get reinflated, even with a few hundred new employees wanting to buy between now and 2011 (the projected date of full employment). Albemarle is hurting for business and has a housing crisis--at least 15 months of inventory for single family homes, lots of folks losing their shirts in short sales, foreclosures, or unable to sell because they bought at the peak and are now underwater. And: When the Homebuyer Tax Cred ended on April 30, sales plummeted. Where's the main stream media reporting on this?
- First of all, these are highly-skilled workers who know how to collect and analyze data, and many of them have already been through the DC area housing debacle. Many won't want to be involved in another RE market that is currently "declining." Many WILL...as long as they get a good deal.
- Second, there are many short-term workers (1-3 yrs) who can't buy, as the short term market is dead in this area (see above link) as it is in many parts of the country.
- Third, many are choosing not to relocate families, so fewer are moving than originally thought.
- Before this market was in such crisis, there were real estate agents acknowledging that DIA isn't the "magic bullet" that will save the area from plummeting sales and declining property values.
- The employee rollout goes through 2011--not all at once. Most sellers can't wait more than a few months to unload their property.
Buyers and Sellers: keep it in perspective. Many RE "professionals" don't know--or don't want to know--about the realities of local, regional, and national economies. You're mostly on your own.
Buyers: don't rush in. The first time you hear the phrase "multiple offers," walk away. It's likely there are at least a dozen more properties that will suit you just fine.
Sellers: most properties aren't going to rise in value any time soon; in fact, most will have a hard time selling. If you price lower than your "competition," you'll have a better chance of selling.
Video from the Newsplex story
This post, like all on this blog, contains opinion that is not to be misconstrued as financial advice pertaining directly to your particular circumstance.