As we all know, the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) is bringing a lot of jobs to our area – some are estimating 1000…and maybe more. And with those jobs is increased promise that the influx of jobs will help boost the Charlottesville real estate market. Is that a crazy thought? Absolutely not.
Real estate pricing can be traced back to basic supply and demand. In 2004, the supply of Charlottesville homes was low and demand was high…so prices skyrocketed. We’re in a situation now where the tables are reversed: inventory levels for Charlottesville and Albemarle homes are extremely high and demand is, well, so-so.
The first wave of NGIC and DIA employees are starting to make their way into Charlottesville – some have already purchased, some are under contract, and many more are just beginning their real estate search. I’ve heard from more than one client associated with NGIC that they want to move to Central Virginia in 2010 before the big wave of relocation takes place in 2011.
There is no doubt that those 1000+ jobs will have a direct impact on our local housing market…but how much will it positively affect the prices? That is yet to be determined. But you can expect there will be a positive effect – and the most influenced areas will most likely be areas and neighborhoods geographically closer to NGIC.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the last 24 months of home sales and inventory in Forest Lakes. (By the way, the data in this chart is absolutely essential to determining current values and predicting – or maybe I should say ‘attempting to predict’ – future real estate trends.) You’ll see that sales have gone down slightly, inventory is up (actually fairly normal for this time of the year), and most other standard stats are off slightly during the last 12 months as compared to the previous 12. The most glaring stats to me are the inventory levels – they are up significantly…
So, to date: Forest Lakes hasn’t seen a big jump in sales as some predict. But the NGIC story is still young…we’ll keep our eyes on it moving forward.