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Before trying to sell your home yourself, read this article

June 1, 2009

http://www.inman.com/news/2009/06/1/going-fsbo-in-a-slow-market There are certainly times when selling it yourself makes sense, but make sure your property is the right type and you have the time to deal with all the nuances of selling a home and getting it to settlement

Once again, Charlottesville, Va shows up on a Top Ten List

May 27, 2009

http://www.kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/2009/07/best-cities-2009-where-the-jobs-are.html No matter who researches Charlottesville and the surrounding Central Virginia area, they always come to the same conclusion.  People want to live here due to the employment opportunities and the easy ability to drive to the mountains, the beach, or to Washington DC or the State Capitol, Richmond.

A Charlottesville and Central Virginia Housing Update

May 19, 2009

Here is an excellent article about the number of homes on the market written by Real Estate III’s Greg Slater and CAAR’s President-Elect.  05/17/09 IT’S ALL ABOUT THE INVENTORY Based on inventory levels, this market has been defined as a buyer’s market for quite some time now. Since the inventory is so critical to the conversation of what is going on in our market, I thought it would be a good idea to take a closer look. The first thing we need to cover is the latest change to our MLS. The CAAR MLS now includes a “proposed” property type option for attached, condo, and detached new construction listings.  It is an MLS Rule that new construction listings not actually started must be entered as “proposed.”  This new property type was created for several reasons. 1.     Since inventory is so vital to market conditions, removing homes that were not actually built are important to the integrity of our data. 2.     Agents often complained that they were arriving at listings only to find no home under construction. Similar photos and exceptional digital renderings can be misleading. 3.     We have builders in our market who do not speculatively build and needed a place to list the homes available to be built. If you look at the total active inventory for our MLS, there are 3701 listings. (For the purpose of this article these numbers are as of 05/17/09) If you remove the proposed listings there are 3440 active listings in our entire MLS. That’s 261 proposed listings. More importantly, if you are following the new construction market, the numbers are significant. For example, 83 of 183 new home listings in Albemarle are proposed.  In Fluvanna, 59 of 89 are proposed and in Greene 28 of 43 are proposed. This change just happened in 2009 and became mandatory as of March 2009. It’s hard to draw conclusions from the data yet, however, if we watch the non-proposed new home inventory going forward, we should be able to learn something about development and new home starts in our area.  Building permits are down and the inventory is down as well. It’s just a little hard to quantify historically right now. Second, let’s look at the overall inventory. The CAAR Market report does a great job quantifying our inventory and months of supply. However, I’d like to share a couple of new perspectives to see if it is telling us anything about our market. We are all aware of the seasonal trends of our market. Each year inventory grows heading into the spring, peaks in the summer, and declines heading towards December.  For years our inventory was suppressed by increased sales activity.  Let’s look at how we have started and finished the year going back to 2005. (Albemarle, Cville, Fluvanna, Greene, Nelson) JAN 2005     960               DEC 2005              1418      47% Increase JAN 2006    1502             DEC 2006               1977       31% Increase JAN 2007    1952              DEC 2007              2256       15% Increase JAN 2008    2208             DEC 2008             2246        2%   Increase As of April 2009, we were essentially right were we were in April of 2008. So it appears for the time being, inventory has leveled off.  If you look at listings coming on to the market by listing date you’ll note that the pace has slowed. (These numbers include proposed listings to be consistent with years past.) In 2010, we will be able to start comparing year over year levels excluding proposed listings.) New Listings by Month � 2006 2007 2008 2009 JAN 725 802 688 706 FEB 793 756 748 712 MAR 980 1027 801 702 APR 963 947 768 750 So what does all this mean? We have always defined the market as buyer or seller’s based on the inventory and the number of months available. With inventory levels remaining relatively constant now for over a year and sales levels (over $300k) still decreasing year over year, we may have to take the definition of “buyer’s market” a step further. It seems to me that our buyers and seller’s, in many cases, have opposing views of market value right now. Maybe this “buyer’s market” is better defined as a market in which the buyer’s opinion of value carries more weight than the sellers. As CAAR President, Judy Savage reminded us monthly that we needed to make sure we were helping our sellers price their homes correctly. I think that message is still VERY pertinent today. The title of this article is “Its all about the Inventory.” It could have just as easily been titled, “It’s all about the prices of the inventory.” I think one of the challenges of pricing a home in this market is that buyers and sellers are using different methods to determine value. Many buyers (who believe prices are still coming down) want 2010 price now. Many sellers think their home is still worth what it was in 2006.  As REALTORS®, we need to help our sellers understand what buyers are focused on right now. And maybe just as importantly, help our buyers understand the reality of this market as well. There’s frustration on both sides of the negotiation and it’s our job to find the common ground. If we work with BOTH buyers and sellers and help them understand what is going on, maybe we can help them meet at today’s market prices and release some of the very real pent up demand that exists today.

Sharon Merrick's other passion

May 19, 2009

Enjoy the piece on Sharon’s clothing store in Gordonsville, VA. http://www.charlottesvillenewsplex.tv/home/headlines/44745632.html

Is now really the time to buy in Charlottesville, VA

May 8, 2009

check out the discussion on Michael Guthrie’s most recent appearance on the radio show “Charlottesville Right Now” http://www.wina.com/Charlottesville-Right-Now/3056918

Check out the new info on Albemarle County Schools

May 7, 2009

www.k12albemarle.org also check out a new exciting place to find charlottesville tidbits www.cvillepedia.org

Kudos to Martha Jefferson Hospital

April 27, 2009

Martha Jefferson Hospital is moving to the Pantops Mountain area of Charlottesville.  The new hospital campus there will be pretty amazing but I am as impressed with their desire to make sure their current downtown location special as well.  So often, folks who leave one place don’t care what happens after their departure.  This is not the case with MJ Hospital.  Please listen to the podcast from a recently held CAAR General Membership meeting.  http://www.caarblog.com/?p=373 The sound quality is not great but you will enjoy what will be happening in both locations.

Charlottesville and Central Virginia Analysis of 1st quarter market results

April 21, 2009

check out cville’s most recent article on what is happening in real estate here in Charlottesville http://www.c-ville.com/index.php?cat=141404064435450&ShowArticle_ID=11802004093607371

Charlottesville Area 1st Quarter Market Report

April 13, 2009

Follow the link to CAAR’s recently released report for real estate in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties http://www.caarblog.com/?p=369

A different take on the Charlottesville/Albemarle Real Estate Market

April 12, 2009

As posted on the Cville Bubble Blog by Greg Slater of Real Estate III and the President-elect of the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors. I’ve had a hunch about what was going on in our market, so I’ve been watching the percentage of sales under $300k compared to the prior year. The numbers I have pulled are on the contracts as they are happening, not on closed sales. I like to be a little more current and take a “snapshot” of what is happening now. Check this out: In Albemarle all categories: 1st QTR 2008 261 Contracts (33% under $300k) 1st QTR 2009 249 Contracts (74% under $300k) In Cville all categories: 1st QTR 2008 145 Contracts (54% under $300k) 1st QTR 2009 87 Contracts (71% under $300k) In ALB/CVILLE/FLU/GRN 1st QTR 2008 554 Contracts (54% under $300k) 1st QTR 2009 452 Contracts (71% under $300k) I’m no rocket scientist but I think this means when we come back and look at the CAAR report again end of 2nd QTR, median prices are going to move some more. I have no evidence to support the following but my interpretation of these stats is leaning towards: 1. Some of the increase in sales below $300k is reflective of price adjustments occurring now. 2. The first time home buyer is back and finding some value in our market. It probably has something to do with interest rates and tax credits, along with #1. 3. The urban ring (just outside city in albemarle county) is performing the best in comparison to 1st QTR 2008. Only down 5% year over year in # of transactions. Time will tell. Regardless of your prediction of where this market is going, the first time home buyer finding value in this market and choosing to buy instead of rent is critical to finding stability. To answer your question as to where the action is, the answer is under $300k. The data is available to get more price range specific, but I wanted to share the results of my latest anaylsis since it seems pertinent to the on going converstation here.

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