I keep getting asked, “How’s the real estate market?”. My standard reply for 2010 has been, interesting! Then I try to ask a few questions; listen, finding out which market segment interests them; then discuss the market segment of interest.
The Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS 3rd Quarter 2010 Market Report
Released on 10/15/2010 the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS 3rd Quarter Market Report shows an increase in 2010 sales over 2009 sales (2111 sales year to date; up 3.6% or 74 home sales). I like seeing the numbers up, but we’ve got a long way to go for recovery and a balanced market, since 5,534 homes are for sale in the area. The number of homes for sale continues to out way the number of buyers, leading to a buyers market. Here’s a link to the full report pdf or report word format. Take some time to explore the report (average days on the market, sales price, year by year comparisons, county break downs, etc.). Have questions or want to discuss the report, let’s talk!
How are foreclosures affecting the market:
A recent report and newspaper article showed Virginia foreclosed homes selling for about 30% less than the average sales price of the non-foreclosure home sales. The report also showed foreclosures counting for almost one in every four sales (23%) during the second quarter. Foreclosure sales add to both the sales comparison date used by appraisers and the data for market analysis used by real estate agents when calculating home value. Foreclosures, selling for less, bring down real estate values especially when the foreclosure and the comparison property share the same neighborhood or street.
National News and Recovery
Economists at Kiplinger and others, predict a possible downturn in real estate values over the winter. With housing providing the key to national economic recovery, we need the housing market to recover. Nationally housing has taken about a 30% drop in value from the 2006 high values. The National Association of REALTORS showed the Pending Homes Index rising 4.3 %in August (yes the data lags a wee bit). Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says buyers are coming back to the market but we need consumer confidence and employment to improve.
Central Virginia remains buffered and in a bit better shape than many localities due to employment opportunities through the University of Virginia and its Medical Center, the expanding Martha Jefferson Hospital, Rivanna Station (National Ground Intelligence Center and Defense Intelligence Agency), etc. and being a top national retirement destination. We still need improved consumer confidence and more jobs in the area for increased real estate market improvement. When I talk with real estate agents around the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation, I feel blessed to be living and working in the Central Virginia market. From Lake Anna to the Blue Ridge Parkway, we have some beautiful real estate and communities providing a quality of life not found in many locations. With many real estate prices adjusting down since 2007, the inventory of Central Virginia real estate for sale provides great buys on homes, farms and land. To search for a home, farm or land for sale, here’s a free e-mail based search with great mapping features.
Interest rates remain at an all time low with good mortgage products available. Values have dropped since 2006 providing more house for the home buying dollar. I’ve worked with several renters to become homeowners this year with each buyer gotting a good buy while reducing their monthly housing cost (costs of owning vs renting). For investors, our current market provides some good opportunities to purchase sold properties with positive cash flows. We may be near the bottom of the market. At some point interest rates and real estate values will rise. We will not know we are past the bottom till we can look back at the data. On an individual basis for many now is a great time to buy. How about you? If you want to run some numbers and evaluate some properties, let’s talk.
Real estate remains a local market (sometimes down to the neighborhood or street or block level). National web sites and forecasts are great for a national overview. If you want to track the real estate market in your neighborhood, county or Central Virginia, here’s a great free tool. If you have questions (I always say, “The only bad questoin remains the one you do not ask.” So, please ask questions.) or want to know aobut the real estate market, I am here to help as your personal real estate consultant; let’s talk!