What's going on in the C'ville Market? Is it slow as everywhere else? Are the home valuations 20% or more?

Asked by Richard Schiller, east coast Fri Mar 7, 2008

higher than they should be? How many detached properties are available? Is it a buyer's market? TIA

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Sara Greenfi…, Agent, Charlottesville, VA
Fri Jun 29, 2012
Depends on how you buy and sell really. Some price points are much better than others...
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Charles McDo…, Agent, Charlottesville, VA
Mon May 7, 2012
It is worth seeing the latest numbers May 2012!
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Joelle Meint…, Agent, Charlottesville, VA
Wed Apr 16, 2008
Dear Richard,

Our local REALTOR association published the CAAR First Quarter Market Report which may be of interest to you. Go to visit the following link:

Best regards.
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Martin Balen…, Both Buyer And Seller, Central Office, Richmond, VA
Sat Mar 8, 2008
There's a lot of optimism shown by the realtors who answered this question. They *have* to focus on the positive, as their livlihood depends upon it.

The fact is, the Charlottesville market doesn't exist on its own--its made up of people who are aware of national trends.

This means that most buyers know that NATIONWIDE, housing values have been inflated. If a buyer makes a purchase right now, chances are enormous that the house's actual value--not the tax assessment, not the seller's price--will continue to decline over the next 6-18 months.

This will leave the new buyer in the same position as many of the current sellers--owing on a mortgage that is inflated beyond the actual value of the property.

And no, values aren't going to rise back to what they were in five years. Those days are over.

But if sellers cut prices now, they're more likely to meet with success in unloading their properties.

Sellers who aren't in financial trouble should consider cutting prices now, before the 'bargains' of the foreclosures start flooding the market. Right now, 1 in 650 houses in VA is in Foreclosure; this number will climb over the next nine months.

More news on the coming recession:

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Jim Duncan, Agent, Charlottesville, VA
Sat Mar 8, 2008
Richard -

It is a buyer's market in the Charlottesville area.

Saying that an entire market is X % overvalued would be wrong, as the market varies, often neighborhood by neighborhood. With that preface,

There are currently 1586 single family homes in the Charlottesville (MSA) area - to include Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Nelson and Greene Counties.

There are a ton of buyers - I am working with six sets over a three day period, yet offers are scarce.

About 1/3 of all properties on the market are vacant -

Well-qualified buyers - those who have cash to put down, do not have a house to sell and are able to be flexible with closing dates - are generally able to demand serious concessions on properties currently for sale. However ... more properties are starting to come on the market that are well-priced, and as such are going to contract relatively quickly.

Regarding Bernanke's statements -

I believe that this is the document that Cheryl is referring to, produced by the Virginia Association of Realtors it's a PDF;


Finally, here are some stories I have written over the years that have proven to be of interest to buyers and sellers -
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Cheryl Carro…, , Charlottesville, VA
Fri Mar 7, 2008
David's right on the money (pardon the pun); there absolutely are sellers here that have yet to come to terms with the fact that demand is not as it was in 2005 any more. There has been a noticeable increase in activity in the past couple of weeks but I dare not make any speculations...

There are almost as many vacant homes sold as there are occupied - I believe because most people that have their homes for sale HAVE to sell and have moved on (relocation, job change, etc.). Many are trying their hand in the rental market. A seller's house has to be pristine and marketed aggressively to have the best chance of "winning" the attention of a potential buyer. Virtual tours are becoming the standard.

There are some noble efforts being made by the mortgage industry trying to boost the market nationwide but unfortunately, US mortgages are not great investments on the world market so the intereste rates have not dropped as some predicted.
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David Chance, Both Buyer And Seller, Charlottesville, VA
Fri Mar 7, 2008
There are over 2,100 properties available in C'ville/Albermarle--a 20 month supply. There will be more soon, when those pulled off the market for the winter reappear for the spring.

It's definitely a 'buyer's market'--but many sellers still are reluctant to list their properties for a price that will sell. Many sellers can't believe that the housing bubble is 'over'--that their property is actually worth thousands less than it was at this time last year.

But as one of Ben Bernanke's deputies said the other day, to paraphrase, the sellers can believe it now, or they can believe in six months, or in a year--property values are going to continue to decline. Anybody who gets an offer now, even if it's 30% less than what they hope for, should jump on it.
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Cheryl Carro…, , Charlottesville, VA
Fri Mar 7, 2008
Definitely is a buyer's market. New construction prices are not as fluid as resales. Home values vary significantly by neighborhood. One neighborhood might see an 18% decline in price from the same time 2 years ago while another might have actually held steady. Detached homes on the market in Charlottesville total 197 while Albemarle county totals 668. I think it's tough for buyers to even make an informed decision since there may be numerous properties out there that fit their criteria.

I have a current document that gives kind of the "Top 10 things to know in the Virginia Market" in contrast to national news reporting on Real Estate which is very regional in nature. After all, Ohio's market is different from Florida's which is not the same as Texas' or Washington's, etc.

I also have an in-depth report that just came out today on the mortgage market. Let me know if you would like to see. It's pretty heavy reading.
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