Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Charlottesville Area Real Estate Update: Sales Plunge, Prices Wobble and Drop As "Spring Selling Season" Fizzles

Nest Realty Group has released data for  home sales in May 2011.  It's a lot of bad news for sellers--but not unexpected bad news for anybody who reads the local and national news.

Locally, May 2011 closed sales are lower than April 2011Albemarle County had 15% fewer sales in May than April.  Usually, sales in this area rise through the summer. national housing experts have already called the end of the "Spring Market," and the Charlottesville area is right in line with this trendMortgage rates keep falling but they're not enticing buyers.

The big drops come with year-over-year comparisons.  Last year was fueled by the Homebuyer Tax Credit.  And all this local bad news comes just as home price guru Robert Shiller opines he wouldn't be surprised if prices dropped another 10-25%. 

Details for May 2011 compared to May 2010:
  • Charlottesville (attached, condo, single family)  sales down -34.78% and median price down -15.79%
  • Albemarle (attached, condo, single family) sales down -17.48% but median up 3.4%
  • Fluvanna sales down -31.43% and median price down -8.25%
  • Greene sales down -9.52% but median price up 15.84% (new construction near NGIC)
  • Louisa sales down -46.67% and median sales price down -38.58%
  • Nelson sales down -16.67% and median sales price down -38.54%
When all the numbers are combined, they equal what's presented, below, for Central VaAggregating the info cushions the blow a bit, doesn't it?  However, these counties--and even their neighborhoods (as any Realtor will tell you)--are vastly different.
  • Median Prices for single family homes the MSA have now slid -13% since 2008 ($308k to $272k)
  • Sales of single family homes in the MSA are down -19% in 2011 over 2010
  • Sales of condos/townhouses in the MSA are down -39% but median price is up 2%
Background: the closed sales for May of 2010 reflected contracts written before April 30, 2010, the deadline for the Federal Homebuyer Tax Credit.  For a recap of 2010, including the big drop in sales 3rd and 4th Q, click here.  Because the Fed Gov't is no longer subsidizing home purchases with a direct cash infusion, this year's sales were expected to be somewhat lower.

Some of these low numbers could be good news for anybody willing to jump in and buy--somebody who can also deal with the prospect of prices continuing to fall and sales to stay at the 'new slow.'  This is the buyer who doesn't believe a house is an "investment."

Charlottesville Foreclosures Rise 25% Y/Y 
Nearly 30% of Virginia Mortgage Holders Are At or Near Negative Equity

Nest Report Charlottesville: May 2011


Anonymous said...

Any opinions on what new construction should cost (mid-range custom) without the lot - per square foot? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

$100/sq.ft., but of course it varies with how many frills you want and it could be more or less. Obviously if you have a difficult lot that takes lots of site work that changes things. Price per sq. ft. is higher for single level than for 2 story. These days if you have an easy lot the builders are hungry. Country with well and septic are fixed costs so the larger the house the lower that part contributes to unit cost.I had a house built on an easy lot for $75/sq.ft. and it was single level.

Anonymous said...

I think the kind of home people actually consider desirable today is more like $150/sqft. But they only want to pay (or can only pay $100/sqft). Will homes return to unfinished basements, carpeted floors, oak cabinets and formica countertops to keep prices low?

Anonymous said...

I was recently quoted $141.3/sq ft for 3000 sq ft of new construction. This was just for the construction - the lot was extra.

craigger said...

Can you guys name the builders with the quoted prices? Those seem much lower than those I talked to.


Anonymous said...

i asked about construction of homes in RiverBluff over a year ago (without all the green stuff like solar water heaters, green roofs etc) and was told $140-160/sqft

nice houses too bad you cant resell them.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed that Zillow is now doing Zestimates (tm) for Cville? The shocking news is that in some neighborhoods (e.g., Hilltop), these estimates are 70 percent below assessed values!!! Consider 1325 Rugby Road, which was sold at 1.3 million two years ago and is on the market at 1.595 right now. Its Zestimate is $344,600! Funny thing is Zillow was using assessed values until just a few weeks ago, but the Zillow graphs have now been changed to make it appear that Zillow's estimates fell over the course of the last year (still a precipitous drop), rather than having occurred in the last few weeks. Does anyone know when Zillow began doing estimates for Cville?

Jim Duncan said...

Zillow's been doing zestimates for a while ... they're still wrong, by their own admission.