Crozet Real Estate Market – Conflicting Numbers, Fast Contracts, Not enough Inventory

If you were to look at just the data, you’d think the Crozet real estate market is worse this year than last. Anecdotally and practically though, you’d be wrong. (talk to anyone currently looking for a home in Crozet between $300k and $500k) Or ask me.

In the first four and a half months of 2012, 166 homes came on the market in Crozet. This year, 177 came on the market. (inventory is up)

Last year, 83 homes went under contract. This year, 94 went under contract. (comparing 1/1/12-4/22/12 to this year, the numbers are 89 to 99, respectively) (More homes are selling)

Last year, 54 homes sold. This year, that number is 49. (Let’s call that a push)

But … Of the 99 homes that have gone under contract this year … 44 had days on market of less than 7! 54 had days on market of less than 30. 37 had days on market of less than 3.

So. What in the world do those numbers mean? They’re a perfect representation of how numbers can be deceiving.

In a nutshell – here’s what I’m seeing in the Crozet real estate market right now:

– Great homes are selling fast.

– There aren’t enough quality homes on the market to satisfy the demand of buyers.

There’s a pile of new construction coming to Crozet – Foothill Crossing, Wickham Pond, Old Trail, Grayrock North (West), Westlake (behind Westhall), Foxchase Landing … and a lot of my clients are shunning said new construction for existing homes because they want something less generic. (a lot are choosing new, but I’m seeing a shift I haven’t previously seen)

– If you’re thinking about selling your home in Crozet, now would be a good time to do so. If you’ve been underwater, you might not be. Seriously.

– If you’re thinking about buying a home in Crozet, be prepared for quality inventory to move. Fast.

– We’re nearing the end of the traditional peak time for new homes to come on the market; most buyers in our area tend to want to either close around the end of the school year or the start of the school year …

I’m embedding some market summary reports below. Please do let me know what questions you have … also keep in mind that even though I’m writing about the Crozet real estate market, individual neighborhood trends are different – both different scales (Old Trail vs everything else) and quality.

Disclosure: I’m a real estate agent. This is a post to inform readers about the state of the Crozet real estate market. It’s not specifically written in order to advertise or solicit business, but I certainly would not dissuade potential buyers, sellers, curious readers from contacting me with questions or if they are seeking buyer or seller representation.

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What do We Want Crozet to Be?

I posted the following thought on the RealCrozetVA facebook page and it generated quite a few thoughtful comments, but I much prefer to center the conversation here. That said, the comments added to my original thought by changing my premise from “what do we want Crozet to be” to first, let’s define the Crozet culture as it currently is and then define what we want Crozet to look like.

This is something that is been going through my head for the last 12 or 18 months: what is Crozet going to look like in 12 or 20 years? More importantly, what do we want it to look like in 12 or 20 years?

Our town is going to change. That is a known known. But what are the unknowns? Will we encourage the homogenization that is happening in Charlottesville? Will we be able to encourage adoption of the Crozet
culture to those who are new?

If we don’t plan (and act!) accordingly and wisely for the coming growth – the school traffic coming from Old Trail comes to mind as well as the traffic to and from all the schools in the mornings and afternoons, and presumably more when Re-Store ‘n Station opens, and from Westlake Hills – then Crozet won’t be as wonderful a place to live as it is now.

I love Crozet; we’ve been here for 11 years (I think) and I intend to be here for a long time. I make my living representing buyers and sellers moving to and from Crozet, so I have a different perspective than many, but my goal remains to work to do whatever I can to keep and make Crozet a special place to be.

I’m posting below the comments from the conversation … please, take some time to read them all (and thank you to everyone who has already commented). They’re thoughtful, insightful comments about what Crozet was, is and could be. I’ll call out this one as I think it well articulates what most may be thinking:

I think we have to combine and find the way to bring the new into the fold of the old unique Crozet so we can grow together.

* For the purposes of this conversation, “Crozet” means (very roughly) – from the railroad bridge at 240/250 intersection to Greenwood Gourmet just past 64 to about two miles past Crozet Elementary. Seriously. Getting into a discussion about “what are the boundaries of Crozet” won’t serve this discussion well … and may lead to moderation of comments.”

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Walking the Crozet Trails

I spent my Saturday morning with my small one and the Crozet Trails Crew walking the trails from the Westhall neighborhood to behind Foothills Crossing and close to Western Ridge.

This was (lamentably) my first foray onto the Crozet Trails, but I’ll definitely make it a priority to return … more and more of my buyer clients (and existing Crozet residents) want connectivity between neighborhoods and “stuff” – and would rather not have to get in cars.

If you can, I highly recommend walking, hiking, learning, helping with, and proselytizing about the Crozet Trails.

Read more about the Crozet Trails Crew at Charlottesville Tomorrow.

I took a brief video of Dan Mahon talking about the trailhead in Westhall and the plans for future connectivity … if I can make time to edit it, I’ll put it up.

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Crozet Real Estate Market Update – November 14, 2011

Looking at some market stats for Crozet (as defined by the Zip Code, 22932). Bullet points first:

– I’m no longer making comparisons beyond three years – the “boom/bubble” years are irrelevant. What matters now is where we are, where we were recently and where we’re going.

Active Listings: Still too many houses on the market in Crozet. Until some of this inventory is sold, we’re still going to struggle with declining prices, high days on market and short sales and foreclosures.

New Listings: Declining. This is good. See the remarks for “Active Listings”

All Pendings (under contract homes): Higher than this time in 2010 and 2009; this is a good thing. More homes under contract will hopefully lead to fewer homes on the market, leading to real estate market stability.

New Pendings: Up. Good.

Sold Listings: Up, year over year. This is a good thing. We’re on a slower pace than this time last year, but that’s ok. If we can build stability slowly, we’ll be ok.

Keep in mind that these statistics are top-level analysis for the Crozet real estate market, inclusive of town homes, (as in, the Highlands and the town homes in Old Trail) single family (as in Laurel Hills, Parkside Village) and new construction and resale homes.

All real estate markets are local. There are subtle and stark market differentiations within even Crozet – based on community offerings (the pool in Western Ridge is nice), proximity to downtown Crozet, proximity to the Old Trail town center, etc.

If you’re thinking about selling, do your due diligence. If you’re considering buying, do your due diligence. There’s a lot to learn on both accounts. If you have questions, please feel free to leave a comment or email me.

Lastly, this is my state-mandated Disclosure (and it’s the right thing to do): I happen to be a real estate agent who lives in Crozet, works in Crozet, Charlottesville and all the surrounding areas, and think that this information is relevant to the readers of RealCrozetVA.

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Brief Real Estate Market Update for Crozet – September 2011

For purposes of this brief update, “Crozet” means “22932 zip code”. When I run numbers manually or search for my clients, I use Brownsville Elementary + Crozet Elementary school districts to define “Crozet.”

Briefly analysis through captions:

New listings coming on the market in Crozet are down, year over year. This is good … fewer homes coming on the market is a good trend.

New Listings, All Home Types - ZIP- 22932

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