Forget all the dire news about 9.1% Unemployment and Housing's Double Dip.
What sellers actually need to be concerned about right now is that the people who see the future of the housing market in this area--that is, the developers, the money people--these people are saying, Consumers want new townhouses. And they're also saying, Consumers want nice apartments.
- Ruckersville will be getting 500+ new Townhouses. It's a building boom in Greene County, courtesy NGIC. In the past 21 years, only 25 townhouses have sold in Greene County.
And it's going to be easier than ever to have a "nice place" without buying:
700+ new apartments are going to be built in the next year along Rio Road, in the area between Towne Lane (near Pen Park) and Route 29; besides "green" Belvedere, "upscale" housing development Dunlora is in this area, as is the Meadowcreek Parkway (currently closed).
- Nearly 300 units at "The Reserve at Belvedere."
- Approximately 300 units across from Fashion Square Mall, "Arden Place."
- 88 units at an "affordable" housing development built by Albemarle County, Treesdale Park. During the Bubble, there were downpayment assistance programs and grants to help low income families know the joys of owning.
- The Shops at Stonefield on Rt. 29 at Hydraulic Road intends to have not only shops, restaurants, and hotel, but also luxury apartments.
Here's why all this high-density building makes sense, and why current sellers should be
- This area is highly transient, and the "short term buyer" has all but disappeared. In order to just "break even" on a home purchase (agent fees, closing costs, upgrades, taxes, insurance etc), a buyer has to stay put for 7-10 years.
- National homownership has dropped down to a level not seen since the year 1998...just since 2005. The US Census Bureau says the number is actually down to the 1990 level.
- Many people are choosing to rent instead of buying, waiting until prices stabilize.
- When buyers do the math on falling prices, it's hard to jump in knowing that even small drops in price mean years of mortgage payments are wiped out.
- Gas prices.
- The most reliable cluster of "well paying" jobs with transplants needing housing is north of Albemarle County, in Greene County: NGIC. A person employed there has to really love driving, and really love dropping wads of cash, in order to consider living in the Western Albemarle/Crozet area or the Keswick/Glenmore area. Both have 60-90 minute daily commutes--on a good day. Add up the hours and that's more than an additional day of worklife devoted to driving.
In Fall 2011, buyers are going to have lots more nice choices--smaller, closer, low upkeep places, as well as the option to put off buying until later.
Current Inventory (June 2, 2011, includes 'proposed')
850 Single family houses
228 Single family houses
Forget all the recent news about housing's Double Dip. Forget that some are calling it a Housing Depression. Forget how low home sales are in the City of Charlottesville. Forget the falling prices in Albemarle County. In fact, forget that major price declines hit Central Virginia in Q1.