Friday, April 15, 2011

Albemarle County Home Price Declines Q1 2011: Single Family Down $53K or 14.6% / Condos Down $36K or 29% / Townhouses Down $22K or 10%

All real estate is local, so the saying goes--unless price declines look smaller when presented as a regional figure.  Which is what happened earlier this week when the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors presented  what looked like a page of fuel gauges in lieu of a quarterly report.  The pictures represented the entire Central Virginia area for median prices and sales.  

As we mentioned in a previous post, these numbers mean little to buyers or sellers.  But the report was picked up in the news as "Central VA home prices drop $19,000 in a year"  and the CBS19: 'Area home sales see uptick.'  These headlines underplay what's happening in this region.  

But Nest Realty Group stepped up to the plate and offered a more detailed set of numbers. When parsed into County and by property type, the reality is much different: significant price declines are driving sales.  In some cases, the sales are also declining precipitously.    The highlights (or lowlights, from the perspective of sellers) for Albemarle County are below.

For Sellers: In order to get property sold, Underpricing the competition is necessary.  Sellers at or near negative equity need to do a lot of praying.

For Buyers: The Asking Price is Not the Offer Price nor Selling Price.  And the tax assessment is a distraction, not market value.

Year-over-Year median sold price declined -$53,250 or -14.6%.  Sales have increased y/y by 17, or 15.5%, which puts it equivalent to 2008.  Q1 sales compared to Q4 2010 declined -19.6%.

Pending sales are up 7%:  200 in 2010 v 214 in 2011.  However, a number of these are contingent: the buyer must first sell the current home before they can close on the next.  So this number is going to to drop and result in fewer closed sales.

Single Family home price declines by month
*2011 January down -10% over 2010 ($225k v $248.6k) 
*2011 February down -14% over 2010 ($334.5k v $386.2k)
*2011 March down -17%  over 2010: $338,500 v. $409,000.

TOWNHOUSES ("Attached")

Year-over-Year median sold price declined -$22,500 or -10.1%.  Sales have increased y/y by 10 to 50, or 25%.  The shocker is the decline in pending sales, which are down -21.1%.

Condo sales in the region are, let's face it, tanking.  Prices have been plunging and foreclosures ramping up for the past several years.  

Year-over-Year median sold price declined -$36,450 or -28.8%.  Sales have decreased y/y by -27.3%The shocker is the decline in pending sales, which are down -45.2%.

Nest's report attributes the current decline in contracts to difficulty in obtaining financing.

Contracts Written - "Pending Sales," which will close in April/May/June:
While  less inventory came on the market this month than last year (188 v. 245), the number of single family homes (includes "proposed") is basically unchanged: 791 (2011) v 797 (2010).  Less inventory is due to folks not listing because they know they can't sell, or because the property is going into foreclosure: it's not due to higher sales (restating the obvious).

SEE Nest Realty Group's Q1 2011 Market Report.  All images copyright Nest Realty Group.
See link for 2008, 2009, 2010 Albemarle Single Family Homes pending sales and inventory.

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