Friday, March 23, 2012

The Wall Street Journal Features Albemarle County's Georgetown Farm: Listed at $17M in 2009, Now Asking $10.3M

It's a tough market everywhere for multi-million dollar properties, and while Charlottesville calls itself "A World-Class City," obviously we're not NYC (or even DC) and Albemarle County is not the pastoral equivalent of, say, The Hamptons.

Back in the good 'ole days, though, high-end properties traded faster and at more $$$.  Even in 2008, post-bubble but before the September collapse into The Great Recession, six $5M+ properties traded hands; July '08 saw a $14.5M prop, and August had 3 sales totaling $21.5M.

Slow Down
  • There are currently 22 properties on the market in Albemarle County listed from $5M to $16M.
  • In 2009 two props sold, a $6.6M, no DOM, and $7.2M, DOM 676.
  • In 2010 there was one $14.5M sale, DOM 784.  
  • In 2011 there were two sales: one at $9.1M, DOM 397, and one at $7.4M, no DOM recorded.
  • Caveat: there are also properties that never appear on the MLS which trade.
Georgetown Farm: Former Seagram's honcho Edgar M. Bronfman owns the place, and the 8,100 sq foot 5 bedroom, 8 bath house in Free Union, Albemarle County, VA listed  for $17M with 600+ acres in November, 2009, the depths of the Great Recession.  The price was reduced to $15M in October 2010.

It is now listed by local RE broker McLean Faulconer as either house plus 120 acres for $3.8M, or house plus 540 acres at $10.3M, with various other structures etc. added into the mix or negotiable.

In the WSJ article, RE agent Andrew Middleditch of McLean Faulconer calls the current price  "competitive." What does "competitive" mean at the high-end of the Charlottesville RE market?  Of the priciest properties in Albemarle County, many remain on the market for years, as indicated by the DOM of the solds listed above.

Georgetown Farm is a lovely place with beautiful views and fertile farmland.  Perhaps the WSJ article will be the marketing kick it needs to change hands.

More props that have been on the market for years:  The most famous example is the $16M foreclosed Albemarle House which started at the asking price of $100M.  But others catch the eye of locals:  Coran Capshaw's Seven Oaks is now $8+M, while "Keepers," rumored to belong to DMB himself, has been marketed to no avail.

Read "Open House: 1921 Georgetown Farm Road" in the WSJ.

The main house at Georgetown Farm:

Photo copyright McLean Faulconer via WSJ.

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