Monday, January 31, 2011

Anonymous Bidder Offers $1M for Patricia Kluge's Vineyard Estates At Foreclosure Auction

But Sonabank chose to keep the place for "future sale," and took it back for $4.9 Million.  Patricia Kluge and Bill Moses owed the bank $8.2 Million for the failed mansion development.  The land is assessed at around $7M.  C-VILLE has details and links.

Next up: foreclosure on Albemarle House, February 16.

February Foreclosure Schedule Shows Homeowners Bleeding At All Price Points
Halsey Minor Will Put Carter's Grove LLC into Bankruptcy Before Foreclosure

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Charlottesville Albemarle Area Pending Home Sales, January 2011

This post looks at
  • pending home sales for January, 2000-2011
  • the 18-24 month market performance lag behind NOVA
  • local and national unemployment
  • 66% of all sales in 2010 were at the $300k or less "first time buyer" price point and the Federal Tax Credit was in place
Below is a chart of "pending" sales, meaning they'll close in 30-90 days.  But not all will close.  Of those contracts that are "contingent," the primary reason for failure is that buyer's current home will not sell.  Other pending sales will fall apart due unemployment or failure to rate-lock mortgage, or seller doesn't meet buyer's conditions, or home inspection reveals deficiences.  The numbes come from RealCentralVA.

In his post, Realtor Jim Duncan doesn't mention what is currently motivating some buyers: the historically-low mortage rate, which as of 1/27/11 was 4.8% for the 30 year fixed. 

AND while prices in this area often remain at bubble highs, relative to the pre-bubble rate of appreciation and inflation (1-2% annually) some prices are lower than in the previous three years--especially when the contract is for a foreclosure, short sale, and (interestingly) in some cases new construction.

BTW, we don't think this area is experiencing "housing armageddon," as Jim termed it in ref to a recent post highlighting local foreclosures.

But the turmoil is noticeable.  Could it be that this area is just now entering a couple of years of rolling around trying to find its bottom?  It lags Northern Virginia by 18-24 months, which has had a wave of foreclosures rise then clear.  This kind of turmoil can bring higher inventory, unstable prices, sellers going under due to fewer buyers and lack of economic recovery, and therefore more foreclosures.  Local unemployment remains much higher than just a few years ago; national unemployment is projected to remain above 9% nationally through 2011.

The 18-24 month Northern Virginia lag isn't our idea: it was put forth by the Va Housing Development Authority in their market conditions report for the CAAR.

Additionally, there are fewer qualified buyers at the low end "first time" price point--$300k and less-- ince the tax cred ended. 66% of all area sales in 2010 were in this category.  Sales dove when the tax credit ended mid-2010.  And there are a tiny number of buyers at the "high-end"--$900k and up--which has years worth of inventory.

Caveat emptor.  Buy as if it's 2012.  (or 2013.  Or 2014.)

Below: January Pending Contracts.  2011 is just shy of 2010's number, but lower than the year 2000; it's 48% off the peak in 2004.

2011 Albemarle County Property Tax Assessments

...are now available online.  They're interesting.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New Home Sales at 47 Year Low, and Existing Home Sales For Past Several Years To Be Revised Downward

See this chart for the latest New Home Sales. And see Mortgage News Daily call the numbers "Greatly Distorted" and "Standard Error Huge" here.

And--would you believe it!?--the National Association of Realtors may--somehow!!!--have inflated years worth of numbers for Existing (already built) Home Sales, and will be releasing new numbers in February. What?!?!? 

Image copyright Sacramento Bee.

UPDATED: Halsey Minor's "Carter's Grove" Scheduled For Foreclosure Auction

Updated: 1/30/11 3pm 

The Hook reports on The Virginia Gazette's continuing coverage of this story.

Halsey Minor says he stopped mortgage payments due to undisclosed water damage.  This equals  his own "remedy" for what he says was a pre-purchase problem.  However, Virginia is a "caveat emptor" state: "buyer beware," with sellers often disclosing that they "know nothing" and buyer must accept this as a condition of purchase.

As for the foreclosure auction, scheduled for Feb. 15, Minor asserts it will never happen:
“If your source is accurate, all I can say is, ‘in their dreams,’” Minor wrote. “They will never, repeat never, be getting that home back. I will restore the home as it should have been done, and they should focus their energies on arresting the tragic decline of Colonial Williamsburg.”
Minor said that since a corporation called Carter’s Grove LLC owns the property, he can stop the foreclosure by putting the company into bankruptcy.

“It would take six months to get before a judge,” he said. “They know that. They have lawyers. They knew it wasn’t going to be sold on the courthouse steps. Why was this announced? To embarrass me.”
Minor has just shown how he is going to prevail, at least for the immediate future, in this issue.  Bolding ours.

Original post: 1/28/11 2:22pm

Would-be (but frustrated by the FDIC) hotel entrepreneur and C-ville son Halsey Minor has another property facing foreclosure, this time in Colonial Williamsburg, as reported by The Virginia Gazette.

Perhaps he, and former millionaire Patricia Kluge, as well as various local builders, bankers, developers, Realtors, and just plain folks will be interested in joining the reality show this blog is pitching to the Bravo Network, "The Real House Losses of Albemarle County."   It's not a comedy, but it sure is daily news. 

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Look At Foreclosures Scheduled For the Next Two Weeks: A Snapshop of How Troubled the Charlottesville Area Real Estate Market Is

From the $100k's to the record-setting take-back of Patricia Kluge's Albemarle House at $22.8M, the story is a wide one.  Albemarle House is an anomaly, and it will retain the record for priciest foreclosure for decades, if not for the Century.

But what's most telling is the reclamation of the Vineyard Estates parcels--"mansions" that will never be needed due to zero demand--and the "middle class"  foreclosures in the $300k-$800k range. 

These foreclosures come from inability to sell, loss of assets, employment issues, rise in commodities prices (basic costs of living), HELOC's, and so forth. 

In some cases, mortgage choices lead to foreclosure: see the frightening resets of Adustable Rate Mortgages.  The reset number is set to rise, and continue rising, later this year. 
See the list of  Charlottesville and Albemarle scheduled foreclosures. 
 These properties will come back on the market at lower prices.  Even so:

The perennial question remains in this area:  Where Will the Buyers Come From?

Albemarle County Single Family Home Sales are 30% Lower than in 2001--and there are hundreds and hundreds of more units that have been built and are for sale. 

Charlottesville Single Family Homes are  at the decade low.

  2010 Sales Ends Awful: Of Course More Homes Will Be Lost to Foreclosure
Foreclosures Rise 225% YOY
NGIC is boosting the Greene County Housing Market, But Private Sector Jobs Vanish

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Actual State of the Union 2011: The Middle Class Has Less Real Estate Wealth and Fewer Assets Than Ever

A few paragraphs into Obama's SOTU is this:
Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.

This is technically true, although the "growing" is snail-slow. What's of course not mentioned is that the majority of Americans, the "middle class," have a smaller share of "wealth" and "assets" than ever before.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Virginia Foreclosure Bills Get Derailed: Republican Lawmaker Calls It 'Government of the Banks, By the Banks, and For the Banks'

The bills were supposed to slow the pace of foreclosures in the Commonwealth, which has one of the fastest "takeback" procedures in the nation.

In 2010, foreclosures in the Charlottesville area rose 225% over 2009.  2011 is expected to see even more foreclosures.

The bills sought to change the way property ownership is recorded, in an effort to bypass the controversial MERS, the Mortgage Electronic Registration System that banks use in lieu of holding physical notes. 

Read the transcript of what happened in the Virginia House when MERS counsel William Hultman testified.  Naked Capitalism's Yves Smith says  
"The overwhelming majority of statements he made about matters that can be verified are either untrue or at best disingenuous."  
See her article, "MERS Exposed II:  General Counsel Tells Whoppers in Testimony Before Virginia House."

Read the article about the bills fail here.

Read about the Ibanez Case, in which foreclosures were ruled null due to MERS impropriety.  These cases will have a nation-wide impact on foreclosure proceedings.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Q: How's the Fluvanna County Housing Market Doing? A: Rising Foreclosures, Falling Home Values, Seller Pain

Shaun Kenney is the Supervisor for the Columbia District for Fluvanna County, and he asks this question on his blog.  Fluvanna County is east of Albemarle, and has in the past been a place that people "drive to qualify" while commuting into C'ville or Richmond for employment.  It has lately had record-high inventory.  Fluvanna's sales, as elsewhere, were goosed by the Homebuyer Tax Cred, then dropped when it ended.

Kenney posted a 2010 sales report by a couple of Realtors, the "Strong Team," as property taxes are obviously vital to the County's budget.  He injects the dose of realism necessary to effectively view the fiscal future:
One of the real questions in the statistical forecasting done by Robinson, Farmer & Cox is the condition of the local economy — one which at the moment, is entirely dependent upon the homeowners.  This report from Strong Team Realtors may give the slight indication of hope, but it is based largely on the sale of foreclosures and homes whose...prices have been cut.  In other words, when we see a slight uptick in the median price, that’s not because your $450K home increased in value… it’s because the $450K home is being sold for $205K rather than $200K.
Page 24 of the Strong Team Realtors' report says:
One thing that everyone in this market must accept is that the market we are currently experiencing is likely going to be with us for years, not months. 
2011 will be a significant year in the Charlottesville area for two reasons--the first is that there will be no tax credit to bolster sales; the second is that we will likely experience more foreclosures in 2011.
Bolding is ours 

Read the post, and see the numbers, here.

Single Family Home Sales in Albemarle County Are 30% Lower Than in 2001
Single Family Home Sales in Charlottesville At Decade Low
2010 Month-By-Month Sales in the Charlottesville Albemarle Area: Second Half of Year Brought High Inventory, Low Sales, Seller Pain

Old Trail Housing Development in Crozet Has Its Best Year Thus Far

After causing community alarm in April 2009 by trying to sell some of itself, Old Trail has seen its strongest year of sales, as reported by Charlottesville Tomorrow.  Like everywhere else, it has had "distressed sales"-- some foreclosures and short sales and some significant price reductions.  But 2010 exceeded 2009 as well as 2008. 

There are currently 300 or 12% of the projected total units occupied out of a planned 2,600 in this mixed-use development, which includes commercial areas and a golf course.

The article doesn't mention how many of the 70 "sales" and "contracts" were completed by June 30, the closing date for Homebuyer Tax Credit.  Sales in the region plummeted after this date.

Read the article at Charlottesville Tomorrow.

Single Family Home Sales in Albemarle County Are 30% Lower Than in 2001
Single Family Home Sales in Charlottesville At Decade Low
2010 Month-By-Month Sales in the Charlottesville Albemarle Area: Second Half of Year Brought High Inventory, Low Sales, Seller Pain

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Patricia Kluge's Albemarle House: Once Listed at $100M, Now Scheduled for Foreclosure Auction

Over-valued, over-leveraged, and now to be "lost" to foreclosure auction on the steps of the Albemarle County Courthouse, currently slated for February 16.

Lisa Provence, reporting for The Hook, has all the details about the failed "mansion"  project "Vineyard Estates," the recent foreclosure of Kluge Estate Winery, and the briefcase full of papers Kluge's husband, Bill Moses, showed her at his attorney's, indicating "lost" opportunity and suffering from "The Great Recession," a succession of "misfortune" leading to the loss of "Albemarle House."

Story's not over...but read the current details here.
More on the foreclosure and liens on the contents of the house here.

Graph: 2010 Albemarle County Single Family Home Sales 30% Lower Than 2001 Sales

2010 single family ("detached") home sales rose approximately 8% over 2008 and 2009, fueled by the Federal Homebuyer Tax Credit, which expired April 30, 2010.  The tax credit was in place both years, and offered up to $8k for First Time and, in 2009, "Move Up" home-buyers.

66% of all 2010 sales were in the "First Time" price category of under $300k. Consequently, in the second half of the year, home sales in this area and category plummeted.   This is the environment for the "Spring Selling Season." 

Buyers expect more price declines, and sellers are cautioned against being greedy.

Albemarle County Single Family Home Sales
  • 2010 sales are approximately -44% lower than during the peak sales years in this category of 2004 and 2005.
  • 2010 sales are approximately -30% lower than a decade ago, 2001.
click for larger image in new window

See also: Charlottesville single family home sales have plunged, now at a decade low.

Virginia Legislature Considering Changes in Foreclosure Law

In response to national Fraudclosure and MERS scandal.  Read.

Read about the pending catastrophe here, and the ramifications faced by Too Big To Fail Banks with the Ibanez case.

Related: Foreclosures in Virginia Still Surging

Monday, January 17, 2011

Home of the Moment: 748 Broad Axe Road - Asking $520K - Bank Owned Foreclosure - Price Reduced 6 Times

See the listing at Trulia for this Bank of America REO property, which has had incremental price reductions totaling $140k.

Foreclosed at $655k
Original Asking: $660k
Current Asking: $520k
Assessed: $589k

click for larger image in new window

Price History
click for larger image in new window

Friday, January 14, 2011

Local Realtor Cautions Charlottesville Albemarle Area Sellers Against Being "Greedy"

What a difference a couple of years in a housing downturn make.  Back in 2008, despite large inventory, slow sales, and an acknowledged "buyers market," a local Realtor went on record in The Daily Progress suggesting  "buyers shouldn't be greedy" when negotiating prices and add-ons.

Now that the reality of low sales and high inventory has set up camp in this market,  Montague-Miller Realtor Pam Dent blogs about the advice of super RE pro Barbara Corcoran and cautions sellers not to be greedy.   

Corcoran, who is the real estate specialist for the Today show, also told sellers to get 3 broker opinions when looking for a listing agent.  Then give the listing to the one with the lowest price, because that is the honest broker. 

City of Cville Single Family Home Sales At Decade Low
Virginia #16 on Nat'l List of Foreclosure Rates

Video: New CAAR President Calls Real Estate Sales in Charlottesville Albemarle Area "Stable"

Barbara McMurry, the new Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors chief, talks to reporter Matt Talhelm in this NBC29 video.

The video also features a couple who have listed their townhouse multiple times but been unable to sell.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Virginia is #16 on List of States With Most Foreclosures, as Record High 2.9 Milion US Properties Receive Foreclosure Filings in 2010

...And 2011 is slated to be even worse.  Filings include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank reposessions.  Read.  Virginia has the 16th highest number of foreclosures, with one in 968 units receiving a notice. 

Related: Cville Area Sees 225% YOY Increase in Foreclosures

Graph: City of Charlottesville Single Family Home Sales At Decade Low

2010 was the worst year of the area housing downturn thus far, but the City is struggling more than other areas. 

Below is an informative graph for sellers, as those with equity can price aggressively to try to sell.  66% of all buyers in this area in 2010 were "First Timers," up nearly 10% over 2009, when the Homebuyer Tax Cred was also in force (report).  This tells sellers that many buyers are relying on cash they don't have to purchase a home.

In terms of inventory, the single family home numbers remain up in the City (and will jump in the Spring) and it's technically a "buyer's market."  Many buyers, however, aren't attracted by the prices, often finding brand-new, or much larger, homes for (much) less in the surrounding counties. 

Knowing that prices are likely to decline through 2013, buyers must plan to stay put for 7-10 years.  (There's always that question:  What if you have to sell, and there's no greater fool?Sellers with equity are, in most cases, those who bought pre-2004 (many others aren't so fortunate).

Notes on the graph:
  • When the homebuyer tax credit expired on April 30, sales in the second half of 2010 in this area dropped precipitously (read).
  • 2010 single family home sales are -10% lower than in 2001.
  • 2010 single family home sales were -43% lower than in 2004, the peak for this sector (more condos and townhouses were being built/purchased in the middle of the decade, and prices were zooming upward, so single family home sales declined after 2004 in the City).
  • 2010 single family home sales were -13% lower than in 2009 (ie, during Recession and even with tax cred available).
  • 2009 single family home sales were -15% lower than in 2008 (even with tax cred available)).
The sales data comes from this post at RealCentralVA.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The CAAR 2010 Year-End Market Report: Home Sales Decline For 5th Straight Year, Second Half Was a Debacle

The final numbers are in and confirm 2010 was the worst year--so far--of the Charlottesville area real estate downturn:  home sales plunged, listing prices were slashed, foreclosures skyrocketed, and short sale listings surged.  To download the report, scroll down.

The Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors market report shows how difficult it was for sellers to close a deal.   Buyers disappeared when the Federal Homebuyer Tax credit expired on April 30.

The only "rise" in 2011 sales will be the seasonal increase of purchasers in the Summer.   Inventory won't recede for several more years due to already high levels and low demand, pricing and  lack of qualified buyers. 

Thus the final page of the report has a caution: "If inventory climbs again and the regional economy and loan availability both remain stagnant, there is limited opportunity for growth in our housing sectors."  The expectation of home price declines and a drop in sales is achieving national consensus.

The conclusion: "Price sensitivity is still a key factor in this market," no doubt reference to the Virginia Housing Development Authority Market Conditions report,  which explains how prices are too high historically in comparison with income.   

2010 Year-End CAAR Market Report

Home Sale Numbers in 2010, Compared With Earlier Years 

2707 homes sold in the Charlottesville area in 2010, down -1.5% (-42 sales) over the Great Recession of 2009:
Charlottesville -18.9%
Louisa  -7.3%
Orange  -25.7%
Albemarle  + .5%
Greene  +8.4%
Fluvanna +10.7%
Nelson +34.3%  

Compare with 2009 over 2008
...and compare with the peak of the Housing Bubble through 2009:
Sales Numbers (includes single family, townhouses, condominiums):

Graphs and report via/copyright the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors. 

The Third Quarter Market Report
The Second Quarter Market Report
The First Quarter Market Report

"The New Normal" - A Multi-Part Series 
With foreclosures increased 225% YOY in this area, the Daily Progress reports on why home prices will continue declining for years.
Nest Realty Group: Double-Digit Depreciation Forecast For Albemarle County Home Prices

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Month-By-Month Recap of the Charlottesville Albemarle Area Real Estate Downturn in 2010: The Worst Year in This Area...So Far

This post contains links to the Bubble Blog monthly sales, inventory, and analysis posts about residential RE during the previous year.   

Update Jan. 11: The CAAR has released the 2010 Market Report

2010 was the worst post-Housing Bubble year in this area--thus far--with carnage and loss everywhere.   The Charlottesville area market mimicked markets nationwide--except that it often did much worse in terms of sales plunges and it had double or triple the national average of inventory.

The Charlottesville Area Assoc of Realtors, and various brokerages, will release 2010 annual residential sales reports in the next few days.  While everybody will assert optimism for 2011 (optimism, as opposed to Realism, has been King since 2006) there's no sugarcoating what just happened: it was a disaster for most sellers in the second half of the year, and indicative of current market conditions for the Spring Selling Season, which kicks off February 1st.  If you read around on local Realtors' blogs, they've already started warning sellers: lower expectations, slash prices. 

In 2010 the Charlottesville Area real estate market changed dramatically in the Second Half, on expiration of the Federal Homebuyer Tax Credit:
Advice for the buyer? As always, Caveat Emptor.

(Additional chart and graph links are at the bottom)

December 2010 
City of Charlottesville Single Family Home Sales: Sales plunge but prices jump.  Read.

Albemarle County Single Family Home Sales: The December 2010 Median Sold Price of $321,066 is -$64,534 less than December 2009's $385,600 or -16% lower .
The December 2010 Median Sold Price of $321,066 is -$103,934 less than December 2008's $425,000 or  -25% lower.  Read.

November 2010
Cville MSA (the City plus surrounding Counties): sales down -32% YOY from 2009

Cville City Single Family
Sales down -40% YOY
-$55k YOY decline in median price
16.46 months of inventory

Albemarle County Single Family Homes
Sales down -24% YOY
-$31k YOY decline in median price
14.39 months of inventory

Want more on November? See this post and this 2yr data set and this 4 yr data set.

October 2010
Lowlights: Cville -67% YOY, Albemarle -22%, and inventory at level not seen since 1990.  Read.
The Third Quarter Market Report - Glossing Over July, August, September Nosediving.

September 2010
The New Normal: Low Sales Volume.  Read.
Local jobs vanish.  Read.
Heading into the Fall.

August 2010
Homesellers had a 6% chance of successRead.
Declining sales by County.  Read.

July 2010 
The Second Quarter Market Report - Here's What's Missing
The market goes into freefall after the Federal Homebuyer Tax Credit expires.
County sales cliffdive -47%Read.
Townhouse Sales plunge -67%.  Read.
The local market underperforms the National market by a wide margin.  Read. 

June 2010 
Pending home sales plunge Read.

May 2010
Closed sales for May are -21% lower than 1999Read
The Tax Cred expires, and contracts plunge -50%Read.

The First Half: Jan - June 2010
2010 Sales are -43% lower than in 2006.   Read.

April 2010
Q1 Home Sales '08, '09, '10.  Read.
The First Quarter Market Report - The Spin Lives (But Cheerleading Ends in Tears)

March 2010
Inventory Jumps, Mortgage Rates Jump, Sales Drop.  Read.

Februay 2010
Notes from the Charlottesville Area Housing Downturn.  Read.

January 2010
Come on.  Really?   Read.


  [above graphic copyright RealCentralVA]

Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors Reports - Here's What Was Left Out 

The Third Quarter Market Report - Glossing Over July, August, September Nosediving
The Second Quarter Market Report - Here's What's Missing
The First Quarter Market Report - The Spin Lives (But
Cheerleading Ends in Tears)

See Also:

"The New Normal" - A Multi-Part Series

Charlottesville Albemarle Area Declining Sales in Graphs 2003-2009

1 in 4 Virginia Mortgage Holders Owes More Than Home is Worth
With foreclosures increased 225% YOY
in this area, the Daily Progress reports on why home prices will continue declining for years.

Nest Realty has a Double-Digit Depreciation Forecast For Albemarle County Home Prices 

Images copyright CNN Money. 

Title revised from "There's No Sugarcoating What Just Happened."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Details Surface About the Biscuit Run Bailout

Hawes Spencer has the in-depth cover story at The Hook about the 11th hour bailout in late December 2009 of one of the worst residential RE deals ever made in Albemarle County  Virginia  the United States. 

While the Commonwealth's buying the property for $9.8 Million may be perfectly legal, it's the secretive tax credit issue that has rankled citizens and politicians for the past year.  This secrecy, too, is legal, but it has the appearance of impropriety: pandering to celebrity, political favors, undue influence, currying privilege for friends.

Former Governor Tim Kaine (along with compliant entities in his government) relieved banker/developer Hunter Craig, Dave Matthews Band Manager Coran Capshaw and fiddler Boyd Tinsley (among others) of a deal that was bleeding money and was unlikely to ever come to fruition.

The jaw-droppingly optimistic appraisal of the Biscuit Run parcel at nearly $90 Million was leaked and rumored last Winter (even appearing in February 2010 on this blog).  Hawes Spencer states he has the appraisal documents to prove this number.  The big question is if the Biscuit Run Bailout Boys will challenge the (incredibly generous, IOHO) amount they've already received in tax credits, or just be content they didn't lose more than they already have.

Read the cover story at The Hook.

City of Charlottesville Real Estate Update: December 2010 Single Family Home Sales

2010 had 15% fewer single family home sales than 2009: 253 v. 292.  But those who went ahead and bought paid more in December 2010 than December 2009. Which makes perfect sense: sales nosedived locally and nationally in the second half of the year on expiration of the Homebuyer Tax Credit.  Those who bought in the City this past December weren't relying on $8k from Uncle Sam to get into a house.  December sales have remained low for the past several years: 15, 13, 16.

The numbers:
 Data set via/copyright Realtor Pam Dent.

See Also: Albemarle County Single Family Home Sales December 2010

Related: Experts Predicting Home Price Declines

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Central Virginia Unemployment Remains Basically the Same for December 2010: Up

It's less than the Nation's rate of 9.8%, but locally double for some areas what it was in 2008, before the Great Recession.  The problems:

1. Local private sector jobs have vanished. 
2. Those that are available are primarily service-sector/minimum wage
3. Newly created jobs at DIA brought employees from outside the area. 
4. The University of Virginia is the largest employer, but those with BAs and PhDs have the highest unemployment. 

See the current numbers.

Albemarle County Real Estate Update: December 2010 Single Family Home Sales

The December 2010 Median Sold Price of $321,066 is -$64,534 less than December 2009's $385,600 or -16% lower 

The December 2010 Median Sold Price of $321,066 is -$103,934 less than December 2008's $425,000 or  -25% lower 

The December 2010 Average Sale was $381,718

The December 2009 Average Sale: $688,098: 2010 was -$306,380 or -45% less than 2010 

The December 2008 Average Sale  2008: $614,410: 2010 was -$232,692 or -37% less than 2010

From 2008-2010 December's closed sales have hovered around +/-50.  The median price has dropped precipitously, as have the average and listing prices.  Higher priced properties struggle to change owners in this economy--especially if those properties were purchased 2002 - 2010.

The "%Sold to List Price" is not meaningful.

These numbers are via Realtor Pam Dent here.

Related:  Price Declines

Home of the Moment: 1066 Autumn Hill Court, Crozet

October 2007 Purchase Price: $350,000
January 2011 Asking Price: $269,900
January 2010 Tax Assessment: $285,300

Price Difference: $80,000
Percentage Difference: 24%

The listing, from outgoing CAAR Prez Greg Slater, doesn't mention whether this is a Short Sale--that is, whether it will need 3rd party approval from a bank forgiving the mortgage debt.

Related: Experts Forecasting 2011 Home Price Declines

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More Experts Expect Home Price Declines In 2011

We've recently posted on 2011's projected home price declines, here and here.

Sell Now, say some, before prices go down any more.

US News and World Report Chief Says Home Prices Will Decline For Years - zero hedge
S&P Warns House Prices Will Decline For Several Years Due to Shadow Inventory - MarketWatch
Analysts Expect Prices to Fall Another 10% - Property Wire
Home Prices Will Decline 5-10% - Calculated Risk
Without More Government Intervention, 11.5 Million Mortgage Holders Will Be In Danger of Losing Their Homes - Diana Olick, Realty Check

Home Prices Will Decline Another 20%: Peter Schiff, Euro Pacific Capital.  Below is the BI highlights.  To access the entire article, Google this phrase:  WSJ:Why Home Prices Are Still Too High

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Resolution: To Become An Informed Citizen

If this is one of your resolutions, don't miss the following video (and print) presentation about Economics and National Security.  It's part of a series coming out of Johns Hopkins University, "Rethinking...", and was provided by frequent commenter Craigger at this post. 

Craigger says, " may be the best two hours of video you'll ever watch. If you don't have that much time, the housing / money supply discussion starts at 32 minutes."

The presenter is James G. Rickards, Sr Managing Director for Market Intelligence, Omnis, Inc.  Full bio.
The Outline.  The Presentation.  Download the video.

A Buyer Explains the Decision to Purchase in 2010

Megan McArdle, a business and economics editor for The Atlantic, explains why she recently bought in DC.  Interestingly, some of the reasons are the same buyers have been giving since the bubble burst in 2005.  However, in this period, prices have continued declining,  demand has dwindled and inventory soared, and credit has tightened.   Read.

2011 is the Year to Sell - But Not to Buy. How's That Going to Work?

We've been hearing a lot lately about consumers opening their wallets for Christmas, and how the stock market will continue to rise in 2011.  But Christmas presents and Wall Street are detached from the housing crisis--and ignore the big picture.

As The Automatic Earth explains, "Recovery" isn't happening this year--or any time soon.  Below is vital reading for anybody considering buying or selling this year.  Bleak.

Read below, or go here.