Year End Market Report

by John Ince, President Charlottesville Country Properties, LTD.

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CAAR 2011 4th Quarter and Year-End Market Report

We’ve got a real sharp looking market report with lots of great data. It will be dissected every which way by pundits who call it hopeful and those who call it gloomy. My take on statistics is that you can find what you’re looking for no matter what that is. I have it posted here for you so feel free to dig in.

Key factors in this report are the sharp increase in pending sales, (those under contract and set to close) at the end of 2011 compared to the end of 2010. There is also a 7% drop in our inventory level year to year which will bode well for sellers (eventually). The median price of a home dropped 3.75% year to year. That’s a little bit of a surprise to me, but might dovetail with the fact that expired and withdrawn listings (those that didn’t sell during their listing period) dropped about 7% which may indicate that sellers and listing agents are coming to terms with this new market and pricing their properties where they will sell. Foreclosure and short sales were both up slightly, but we still have a market dominated by conventional sales, (80.9%) which puts us in the “good” category nationwide.

I was recently interviewed about this report and made the comment that real estate valuation is part analytical and part subjective, especially country property. Averages and medians are important factors to be aware of but every property is unique in quality and character. What is that “million dollar view” really worth, what’s the value of 150 year old heart pine flooring or that 200 year old oak in the front yard. It’s not a number you can pin down or ignore, but it is what makes country property more fun.

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