Spending some time with my grandson at pre-school yesterday, several parents asked about the local real estate market. The local real estate market also remained a featured when we filmed the latest episode of House Money (local Charlottesville Area TV show on Charlottesville Public Access TV). Since I keep getting asked”James, how is the local real estate market?”, here’s an update!
When looking at the local market for home sales data, I go to the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS (CAAR) Multiple Listing web site and run some searches to gather number of homes in different stages of the for sale & sold process. As of today (about 8:00 AM on April 4, 2012) CAAR shows 5,702 homes for sale in Central Virginia with 1,453 of those homes being under contract and working towards closing (home inspection, loan approval, title search, etc.). This shows that 25% of the homes for sale are under contract (one in four!). The site also shows 812 homes sold so far in 2012. Not a bad first quarter of the year!
Real estate, like the weather, remains a local issue. Most people don’t want to know the average high temperature for the United States today. They want to know what the weather will be like where they are or where they are going. Real Estate markets and values possess similar characteristics. Some national real estate economist predict a bottoming out of prices and an increase in sales during 2012. However, owners want to know what their real estates current value and market conditions in their neighborhoods. Buyers want to know value trends in neighborhoods where they want to buy. Real Estate values get very neighborhood and property specific. Regional numbers may not hold for specific neighborhoods (what holds for Old Trail in Crozet may not hold for Spring Creek in Zion Crossroads, etc.). Also, be careful of taking national numbers promoted through the media, focusing the national data to a specific home or neighborhood in Central Virginia. We are unique in Central Virginia with the University of Virginia, two hospitals, national ratings as a retirement community, Rivanna Station (US Army, DIA, NGIC plus contractors), and more positive attributes than most other communities. If you are interested in values for a specific neighborhood or property, let’s talk. I will gladly prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) helping you to evaluate the specific market.
Home mortgage rates remain low as well! Heck back in the 1990’s (yes, I’ve been helping clients with their real estate needs since before the turn of the century), we saw home mortgage rates above 12%. Historically, today’s rates hovering around 4% (depending on loan type, borrowers’ creditworthiness, and home characteristics) look pretty darn good.
When you couple our current home mortgage rates with home prices adjusted down since record highs of five years ago, Central Virginia possesses some great home buying opportunities. Why rent with many home mortgages less than comparable rents? Each decision to buy remains a personal one. If you want to explore the possibility of purchasing a home, the loan options and available homes meeting your budget and needs, let’s talk. I am here to help!