The Charlottesville (Virginia) Area Association of REALTORS released their 1st ¼ 2011 market report on April 12,2011. The good news includes real estate continuing to sell in Central Virginia with 491 sales reported! The report shows purchase price remaining a key issue for buyers. The inventory of homes for sales continues to be greater than the numbers of buyers in our local market. The Median Sales Price came in $19,000 below the 2010 1st¼ Median Sales Price. This shows that buyers are getting more home for the dollar and could be interpreted as homes being more affordable! Counties east of Charlottesville (Orange, Louisa and Fluvanna) remain the most affordable. Please take a look at the report and draw your own conclusions!
So far this year, I see more buyers than last year out looking at properties and making offers. Not all offers are accepted so some of these buyers continue looking. Many homeowners realize the need to get their homes into tip top condition by painting, making repairs, decluttering and staging the home for optimal presentation to the buyer. With more homes for sale than buyers, the competition between sellers can be vigorous. I have seen some great buys on homes, farms and land during the 1st ¼ of 2011!
Foreclosures (bank owned properties) and short sales (owner’s selling for less than the amount owed on the mortgage with bank approval) continue to play a role in our market. Our Central Virginia real estate market will continue to be influenced by short sales and foreclosures until the inventory of these properties is absorbed by the market. I feel we still have several years to go until our inventory of homes for sale equals or is exceeded by the number of buyers. Our new economy, markets, appraisal and lending criteria will continue to affect the buying and selling of homes. We are seeing investors buying real estate to rent. I am also seeing land sales where buyers are looking to build down the road but feel they can get a better buy on the land now than in the future.
I also see a trend of rents going up. With home owners becoming renters after a foreclosure or short sale; some potential buyers continuing to rent instead of buying; competition for rental properties continues with some properties receiving higher rents than last year. If you are currently renting, the lower home prices, low home mortgage rates and large inventory of properties for sale may make the 2nd ¼ of 2011 a great time for you to buy. Buying vs. renting remains a personal decision. To confidentially discuss your options and compare continuing to rent vs. buying a home this year, let’s talk!
Real estate remains local. What happens in one neighborhood may or may not be happing across town or the county. Like I’ve said before, real estate is like the weather. You want to know what is happening where you are weather wise and with real estate you want to know what is happening with your real estate values and/or in locations you desire to purchase real estate. Please use the free e-mail based tool to follow homes for sale in your neighborhood or to search for your next home. If you have questions, I am here to help, so let’s talk!