Western Albemarle First Quarter Real Estate Report

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Chart courtesy Nest Realty

Homes Keep Selling in Crozet

The first quarter of 2017 may in fact end up being like any other, but it sure doesn’t feel that way now. There is uncertainty and discord seemingly around every corner. With a new president and party in power, plenty of international apprehension, and interest rates trending higher, it would seem logical that real estate might take a breather. And while in some parts of the country that may be happening—in fact prices are even going down in places—that sure isn’t the case in Crozet.

There were 50 sales in the first quarter of 2017, up 14 percent from the same time last year. This is ahead of the county total sales figure, which remained unchanged year-to-year (see attached Sales Trend graph provided courtesy of Nest Realty). The average price per square foot of finished space for homes in Crozet was up 4 percent, and median and average sales prices were both up around 10 percent. There were no sales over $1m in the quarter, and there was only one distressed sale. There were four land sales in the quarter, up from two at the same time last year.

Twelve of the 50 sales were for homes on land parcels of an acre or more. These tend to be in outlying areas of Crozet; the figure represents about 25 percent of all sales, which is fairly consistent quarter to quarter. The only indicator that was “down” for the period was days-on-market, which is actually a reverse indicator. The 66-day average that properties sold in was down sharply from 111 days in the first quarter of 2016. Houses are selling faster, and for more, which is leading to, or is the cause of, reduced inventory.

There were 34 sales of detached homes in the quarter, down one sale from the same time last year. The average price for these homes was $505,000, up 7.5 percent from last year. Of these homes, 12 were for new construction. Six of these were in Old Trail, three in Foxchase Landing, with the rest in Chesterfield Landing, Foothills and Westlake. The average price for these newly constructed homes was $642,000, costing about $202 per finished square foot. The average size of these new homes fell slightly from 2016 to 3,245 sqft.

There were 16 attached homes sales in the quarter, double the 8 that sold in the first quarter of 2016. All but three were resales, the majority of these being in Highlands and Waylands Grant. The average price for sales of attached homes rose four percent to $249,000. The three new attached homes were roof deck models in Old Trail. These sold for an average of $402,000, and at a cost of $189 per sqft. There remains a limited selection for new townhome purchase, which is often the most affordable of new construction choices.

Fresh on folks’ minds right now is the just-passed 2016 tax filing deadline. Several friends who currently rent their homes lament the inability to deduct their rental costs like homeowners can deduct their mortgage interest and property tax payments. So not only do homeowners get annual deductions, they typically realize a profit when selling that is tax free up to $500,000 for married filers. Home ownership has always been a way to keep living costs down when compared to renting. This has certainly applied to Crozet in the past and most likely will continue for the foreseeable future as local rental rates soar and availability remains thin.

The advice remains the same: if you have a home to sell, with low inventory and seemingly high demand, now is a decent time to consider putting your home on the market. If you are a buyer, interest rates remain historically low, so get pre-approved by a lender before you start looking. You will not only then know your budget comfort range, but you will be able to act quickly if a property captivates you.

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