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: