The current "health" of the Charlottesville Area real estate market has been under discussion (more intense than usual) for the past few days, specifically the new construction market.
A couple of local Realtors have posted about it: Roy Wheeler Realty CEO Michael Guthrie and RealCentralVA / Nest Realty Assoc. Broker Jim Duncan. Both are widely read, and widely influential in this area for buyers, sellers, and other Realtors.
So when Realtor Michael Guthrie talks, people listen--and repeat his perspective. He's a past prez of the CAAR, a Realtor with decades of experience, and CEO of The Roy Wheeler Realty Company, which has been in C'ville since 1927. Guthrie blogged about this market's "health" at Roy Wheeler Co's Market Insights:
I woke up to the headline... saying "Local housing market called 6th best in U.S." ....I must admit this information caught me by surprise. My initial thought was "if we have the 6th best housing market in the US", the rest of the country is in a whole lot of trouble. Why, because, in my opinion, we are still not even in a recovery stage of what has been now a 6 year downturn. There are certainly signs that we may very well be bumping along the bottom but what that means is there are homes that are now selling while others sit on the market. The reason; there are still almost 3500 homes on the market representing over 15 months of inventory. The average sales price for homes sold in September was the lowest it has been since March of 2011. We live in a great part of this country....What does all this mean? We are not even close to coming out of this challenging real estate market. Sellers still need to be very aggressive with their pricing and have their homes in good condition. The good news is that when a home is well priced and in good condition, there are buyers waiting to buy them.[Links deleted for length, and bolding is this blog's]
Guthrie's blog post was in response to a newspaper article about a trade publication. Builder Online, which posted its list of 20 "healthiest" building markets in the US, offering growth projections for 2012.
The Charlottesville MSA was #6 on the list.
Central Va's daily newspaper, The Charlottesville Daily Progress, ran an article about this trade pub's list; the article included the information that sales have dropped in 2011 over 2010.
Nevertheless, the newspaper ran the story as if some definitive authority (a government entity such as FHFA or the HUD) had made a pronouncement on Cville, the #209 of 367 MSAs.
This blog aims to educate buyers, goes for transparency, and is anti-spin (as are the goals of most non-selling RE or "bubble" blogs). So in response were two posts:
- One was about the "health" of the new construction market.
- The other questioned the journalism practices of taking the opinion of a trade publication and presenting it as if it is news.
And on Monday, Oct. 3, Jim Duncan, Assoc. Broker Nest Realty Group, one of the Realtors quoted in the newspaper article, blogged about "health", perspective, and offered additional data.
Duncan notes that this market is 'less bad' than many other markets. Which is true. Context counts.
PART 2: pricing, foreclosures, short sales, kinds of buyers, the changing market.