– 1st Quarter Market Report from Michael Guthrie

Headlines can be deceiving…

This was the headline in the Daily Progress Report: Area home sales fall, prices down in some areas.  This (full article can be read via this link https://www.dailyprogress.com/news/business/report-area-home-sales-fall-prices-down-in-some-areas/article_872e7d92-6d41-11e9-b1bc-8bed4b32b5a9.html) appeared in the paper after the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors released their 1st quarter market report at the end of April.

Although the headline was correct given the number of sales were down and the days on market increased a bit, what it doesn’t take into account was the really lousy weather (record setting amount of rain) we had and the government was shut down (December 22 through January 25).  The days leading up to it certainly shook buyer confidence and along with the holidays slowed things down more than normal.  The one statistic that was the bright light was the median sales price continued to rise.  See full report by clicking on this link.  https://www.caar.com/docs/default-source/market-report/caar-2019-q1-housing-market-report-final.pdf

This show that the market is strong and sellers are still getting close to what they are asking for in their price.  New construction continues to play a major role in the numbers.  19% compared to 17% during the same period in 2018 of the homes that closed in the 1st quarter of 2019 were new homes. You see this especially in the Greene County numbers.  Ryan Homes Holly Hills has been a huge success because of the price point of the homes there.  Listen to this podcast where I discussed this with CAAR leaders, Tele Jenifer and Tom Woolfolk https://wina.com/podcasts/caar-1st-quarter-market-report

The reason I used the headline for this article is I believe that even though sales were down and the days on market increased, I feel confident that the 2nd quarter will show a much more robust real estate market.  There are several reasons for my optimism.

The spring market is here and with it comes increased activity.  More homes come on the market which gives those who are looking more from which to choose.  There is an increase in buyers who want to purchase now so their kids can get settled into the neighborhood before school starts in August.

The weather is better which brings more traffic to existing homes and new home communities.

The biggest reason is interest rates remain low when all predictions were they would go up.  A weird reason for this is the US-China tariff battle.  The negative effect of this to the stock market and the economy puts downward pressure on mortgage rates.  Some might not like the increase in tariffs with China, but it is a good thing for home buyers. https://movement.com/bl…/2019/…/10/trump-tariff-effects/amp/

The take away of all of this is despite the headline in the paper, the real estate market in Charlottesville and throughout the Central Virginia is healthy.  That being said there is still reason for sellers to make sure their homes in the best condition possible and to have their home competitively priced.


Michael Guthrie, Broker/CEO
Roy Wheeler Realty Company

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