Why is it an important distinction? Because this report is not a tool for buyers or sellers. The Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors Third Quarter Market Report does not reflect what is actually happening in "The New Normal" of this housing market, which began in the Third Quarter of 2010.
And because the report will be picked up by local news media** and reported as if the housing market is "recovering." When taken in aggregate, the first nine months of this year have done "better" than in 2009, the midst of the Great Recession.
- Sellers had a 5.75% Chance of Selling in September
- Sellers had a 6% Chance of Selling in August
- Sales plunged in July to 1990's levels
- Foreclosures have increased 225% yoy August '09-August '10. (And they'd keep increasing if there weren't about to be a national foreclosure freeze.)
- The current president of CAAR has the number of foreclosures and short sales listed and sold on his own blog, but this info doesn't make it into this document.
- In September, total unsold inventory increased to 17+ months.
- "The New Normal" is completely ignored in this report: the increase in national and local unemployment, the absence of qualified buyers, and local prices that are just starting to "correct" leading to prices reduced in all categories
- There's no recognition in this report that sales in the Third Quarter dropped back down to levels not seen since the 1990's...and that there's nothing in the RE market locally, or nationally, and ditto nothing in the local or national economies, that will change this any time soon.
The Charlottesville Albemarle area real estate market changed drastically in the Third Quarter, as it did everywhere else in the United States, absent the Homebuyer Tax Credit, which had been available for the previous 2 years. Sales plummeted, and buyers exited the market. We're back to the 1990's in sales, and prices are dropping faster than ever.
If you're bored, see what's presented in the report below. But don't base a a pricing decision on this. In order to sell a house, or buy one in a declining market, without losing your proverbial shirt, you need much more information than this PR report, IOHO.
CAAR's Mid-Year Market Report 2010: Sales Below 2002 Levels, Even W/Tax Cred Still In Place
CAAR's First Quarter 2010 Report: Here's What's Missing
**UPDATE Like So: Newsplex and Daily Progress
Graph copyright RealCentralVA; Market Report Copyright CAAR.