For those who don’t know, I’m a real estate agent. I live in Crozet. I study the market and make a living representing buyers and sellers in Crozet the Charlottesville area. If you’re interested in a broader look at the Charlottesville area real estate market, I wrote a report on my Charlottesville real estate blog.
Comparing the first half of this year with the first half of last year in Crozet’s real estate market …
– Contracts in Crozet are down 8%.
– Prices are up … about 8%
– Home sales (closings) are down 23%
– New listings are down 10%
– New construction remains (and will for at least a decade, I’d wager) a major factor in the Crozet market.
– If you’re thinking about selling, price accordingly – and that might mean underpricing the competition if you’re in a competitive segment.
– If you’re thinking about buying, do your due diligence and buy well – this sounds like trite advice, but work your way through what life will be every day of the week at that house, not just on the one day you visit.
– Even though the data and analysis here are focused on Crozet, your micro market – Western Ridge, Old Trail (the town home market here is further segmented even), Parkside Village, Laurel Hills, etc … get competent representation.
2014 has proven to be an interesting year.
Two points as you read through this –
1 – new construction in the MLS is a challenging thing. There are different categories: Detached, Attached and Condos (which we don’t have in Crozet) and Proposed Detached, Attached and condos. It’s easy to put a “proposed” listing in and that number isn’t entirely representative of the market; “proposed” listings are one of the reasons I pull numbers by hand rather than relying on the top-level reports, some of which include “proposed” listings … and “proposed” listings weren’t added to the MLS as a category until a few years ago.
For example, when looking at the top-level numbers (including new construction) for single family homes, it appears that there are about 8 months of inventory, yet when you exclude single family, that number is closer to 6 – a healthy, balanced market. (PDFs of most of the data are here)
With that convoluted explanation …
2 – For the purposes of this story, “Crozet” = Crozet Elementary + Brownsville Elementary districts.
Fewer listings could be a good thing as that tends to keep competition healthier. Generally though, we’re still in a buyer’s market.
213 – the number of new listings this year in Crozet (excluding new construction proposed listings) versus 235 last year from 1 January to 30 June.(10% decline)
245 – the number of new listings (including new construction proposed listings) – versus 292 last year from 1 January to 30 June. (16% decline)
52 (24% of the new listings in Crozet) – just in Old Trail, (excluding new) – versus 50 last year from 1 January to 30 June.
72 (29% of the new listings) – just in Old Trail and including new construction – versus 80 last year from 1 January to 30 June.
148 – number of contracts written so far this year – versus 161 last year from 1 January to 30 June. (8% fewer this year)
44 (30% of the total contracts) – number of contracts in Old Trail versus 42 last year from 1 January to 30 June.
102 – Closed sales this year versus 133 last year from 1 January to 30 June- a 23% decline. (weather related, perhaps?)
27 (27%) – Closed sales in Old Trail versus 38 last year from 1 January to 30 June- a 29% decline.
Right now – 12 July around 2:30pm, there are 81 homes under contract in Crozet – 47 are marked as being new construction.
As I wrote in my monthly note:
If you’re looking to make a decision, analyze your micro market. For example, the $475K – $600K single family detached market in the Brownsville and Crozet Elementary districts: There are 64 such homes under contract in Albemarle County; 38 (59%) are new construction. In Crozet, there are 22 homes in that price range under contract; 18 (82%!) are new construction.
If you’re trying to sell a home in Crozet in that price point, your primary competition is new construction and you need to prepare and price with this in mind. In contrast, in Baker Butler and Hollymead Elementary school districts (29 North), there are 46 single family homes under contract and four in the $475K – $600K range and all are resales. Micro markets are far more relevant than county-state-national market data (or zestimates).
– If your house didn’t sell this year, you’re not alone; if you’re thinking about selling, price accordingly – this may be hard as nationwide, between 20-30% of homeowners are still underwater or near-underwater. (localized data for underwater homes is challenging to find)
– If you are buying this year, make sure you do your due diligence (and preferably hire a knowledgeable buyers’ agent).
– Why is the Crozet market slow? I’m not sure yet; I’ll let you know in 18 months. I know this isn’t the analysis you’re looking for but my initial thoughts are that there are still underwater sellers who aren’t yet able to sell, buyers who are able to buy but don’t yet have full confidence in employment or the market and are still mistrustful of the market and we don’t yet have a big enough employer in Crozet to supply the jobs we need. That said, a lot of people are buying and selling, so while the Crozet market isn’t as robust as the Charlottesville City market, our market remains fairly strong.
I’m always happy to answer them.