With the exception of a small few, every homeowner in Charlottesville and throughout the country is looking for positive real estate news. As compared to 2009 – when there wasn’t much – we’re starting to see some good news starting to trickle in…and that’s a good thing.
Here’s a blurb:
According to a recent report from Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., all of the reported regions are up from the prior year in total units sold, with the Washington, D.C. region up 13 percent with sales of 16,989 residential units. Roanoke is up 23 percent, with 759 units sold; Richmond is up 21 percent with 2,962 units sold; Baltimore/Towson saw a 34 percent increase with sales of 6,310 units; the Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Newport News metropolitan region saw a 45 percent increase with 4,784 units sold; and Philadelphia was up 35 percent with 9,995 units sold.
Washington, D.C. shows signs of continued recovery with average sales prices rising two percent over a year ago. Average sales prices are down slightly versus a year ago in the other markets throughout the region. In addition, all markets show the final sales price as a percent of the list price has increased or stabilized, suggesting that sellers are pricing closer to market value. In the category of total volume dollar sold, all markets saw an increase over 2008.
And this article from Inman News, which states that the National Association of Realtors is reporting that January year-over-year home sales rose 11.5%. The report also included this stat: The Northeast also saw the highest year-over-year increase in sales at 22.4 percent.
So what does this mean for the Charlottesville real estate market? Well, Charlottesville is what I call a ‘trickle down’ market. Our local economy, while strong for a small town, isn’t setting the stage nationally like New York and DC do. Because of that, we feel the effects (positive and negative) about 6 months (sometimes more, sometimes less) after the big cities. The DC and Northern Virginia market is our biggest influencer – mainly because of proximity and because that area generates so many new buyers in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
For example, the Charlottesville real estate really caught fire about 6 months after DC did back in 2004. We’ve seen some positive impact from the increase in DC and Northern Virginia sales over the past year. I’ve been hearing anectdotal evidence for 12 months that the DC/NoVa market has picked up. It seems as though prices went up more quickly there and have come down quicker…thus helping to have a positive impact on sales numbers.
If sales are, in fact, up in DC/NoVa, Virginia Beach, Richmond, and the Northeast, this is a positive sign for Charlottesville, Albemarle, and all of Central Virginia. Without hard data to support it, those are probably the 4 biggest markets where people move from when they are moving to Charlottesville and Albemarle.
One potential caveat: neither report addressed average or median sales price and whether those numbers were up or down. I’m imagining sales prices were probably down…otherwise, this would have been mentioned. If this is the case, Charlottesville and Albemarle can expect a little bit of ‘trickle down’ bargain hunters from those markets.
Why? Well, if Joe Buyer sold his house for $15k less than he expected in DC/NoVa, he’s got $15k less to spend in Cville.
Stay tuned for some updates on Charlottesville and Albemarle inventory levels, sales prices, and sales statistics. As the month ends, we’ll spend some time digging through numbers.