Charlottesville Home Showings and Contracts Written Are Up

Some positive news continues for the Charlottesville and Albemarle real estate market.

The January Nest Report is coming out and there are continued signs that buyer activity is on the rise.

The Nest Realty lockbox report – basically telling us how many times area lockboxes were opened – shows that lockbox openings year-to-date are up 17.5% over the same period in 2011.  So what does this mean?  More lockbox openings means there are more buyers looking for homes.  More buyers = more demand.  And more demand = a chance that we may start to see some stabilization in our local market.

We’ve been tracking lockbox openings for a few years and it’s consistently allowed us to forecast the  sales contract numbers for the upcoming 30-60 day period.  So, with this data, we’d expect to have contracts rise somewhere in the range of the lockbox showing increase.

Let’s take a look at contracts written in January 2012 vs. January 2011 in the Charlottesville MSA:

Albemarle:                112 (2012) vs. 94 (2011)

Charlottesville:        35 (2012) vs. 24 (2011)

Fluvanna:                  22 (2012) vs. 19 (2011)

Greene:                       15 (2012) vs. 18 (2011)

Louisa:                        34 (2012) vs. 29 (2011)

Nelson:                       12 (2012) vs. 15 (2011)

TOTAL:                     230 (2012) vs. 199 (2011)

Overall, 4 of the 6 areas in the Charlottesville MSA had more contracts written in January 2012 as compared to January 2011.

And remember how we said that lockbox activity directly correlates to contracts?  Well, lockbox activity is up 17.5% and contracts in January were up 15.6%.  (That’s not just coincidence.)

One more note: lockbox openings per listed home in January 2012 was up 24.1% (2.65 per) from January 2011 (2.13 per).  In fact, 2.65 lockbox openings per listing is almost to the level of 2009 (2.75 per) when there was a flood of buyer activity because of the tax credit.

We’ll definitely keep an eye on this trend and see if the lockbox and sales activity continues to outpace last year.


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