Wednesday, May 30, 2012

(F)ailing Wintergreen Resort Rescued By Magnate Who Paid Top $ For Albemarle Acreage, and Rescued WV's Greenbrier Resort

Jim Justice is rescuing the 11,000 acre resort in Nelson County, which has been slammed by the Great Recession as well as by Mother Nature: lack of snow.  As The Hook reports,
Wintergreen Resort– stung by a pair of weak snowsports seasons, challenged by state officials over tax credits, and losing its credit line– has found salvation in the arms of one of the region's richest people, James C. Justice II, the billionaire who yanked the venerable Greenbrier resort out of bankruptcy by building a glitzy casino.
Justice also paid $23.75M for 4,500 acres of Albemarle County in April 2011; plans have not yet been revealed for the Albemarle County acreage, in the historic "viewshed" of Monticello.

Monday, May 21, 2012

"April is the Cruelest Month" - Charlottesville Area Home Prices Edge Lower, Again

December 2011, and Jan-Febr-Mar 2012 saw freakishly warm weather in C'ville and across the Country, and the spring selling season was pulled forward, as reflected by April's decline in prices.  Sales declined in Albemarle, but rose in Charlottesville.  Much of what is coming on the market can't find buyers--even though inventory is lower.  But lower inventory is not necessarily a good sign: it means that owners have negative equity or effective negative equity and can't move "up," downsize, or move away.  Is the road to "recovery" in this area going to be blocked by rising asking prices and people stuck in their homes?

Median Sales Price Declines:
-12.24% City of Charlottesville year over year
-5.84%  Albemarle County year over year

See also:
City of  Charlottesville Sees Painful Price Declines in Q1 2012
First Quarter 2012 Average C'ville Area Home Prices Decline 7.5% Y/Y

The report is from Nest Realty Group.  Read Jim Duncan's post.

Nest Report - Charlottesville Real Estate Market Report for 12 April 2012
In March and April a bunch of folks came out calling for the "bottom."  Too early, flawed reasoning, and ignores the shadow inventory and the actual condition of the economy and unemployment.  But hey, makes for good filler and headlines.

    The NAR Had A "Rally For the American Dream" In D.C.: Member Participation Rate Was 2.7%, and It Was Ignored By the Media

    Read this analysis of the May 17 debacle by a Realtor who is widely respected by his peers.  Realtors may not have "caused" the housing bubble and subsequent crash, but like many other entities they contributed to it.  But for buyers and sellers, Realtors are the face of the bubble and crisis.  And unfortunately for the good folk among them, the NAR, a salesmans' trade organization, is not trustworthy.

    Bottom-Caller Linkfest

    In March and April a bunch of folks came out calling for the "bottom."  It's too early for this, the forecasts have flawed reasoning, and they ignore the shadow inventory (millions of incomplete foreclosures, as well as underwater would-be sellers) as well as the actual condition of the economy and unemployment.  But hey, makes for good filler and headlines.

    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Over: The Decades-Long Belief That A House is An Asset

    A house is a consumable, just like shoes or apples.  Useful, but not a money-maker or "savings plan."   There is a 15 second ad before the video begins.  See related article.