The Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR) released its mid-year market report today and, well, it’s still not looking good. CAAR CEO Dave Phillips calls the market "sluggish."
According to the report, sales from January to June 2008 were down 27.5 percent from the first half of 2007, which is the same percentage behind 2007 as this year’s first quarter report showed. Altogether, Phillips says, "This is the lowest number of sales reported in the MLS for the first quarter since 2001"—though to be fair, 2001 was considered a banner year at the time.
Phillips points out, as he has for a while now, that this is a great market for first-time buyers. Currently, there are 744 homes for sale under $200,000 (a return of affordable housing?), with the average DOM (days on market) at 134. Phillips says this is still a buyer’s market, "so sellers will need to price their properties aggressively to beat the average DOM."
Looking specifically at Charlottesville, the price per square foot is holding steady, though condo/townhome sales continue to fall and average days on market has jumped to 120 from 69 during the first half of last year. As for Albemarle, median home prices went up to $320,200 from $309,000 even though price per square foot fell. Average DOM jumped to 115 from 91.
First time buying a home? Don’t worry, says CAAR CEO Dave Phillips. The market’s in your favor.