Western Albemarle Second Quarter Real Estate Report

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Chart courtesy Nest Realty

New Housing Sales and Prices Jump in Spring

I want to thank all those responsible for the wonderful Fourth of July parade and party last month in Crozet. Capped off with amazing fireworks and a grand finale that had to be experienced to be believed. Kudos to all those involved with this wonderful small town production!

What was also exploding in Crozet in the second quarter was the pace of real estate sales, up 11.5 percent over the same period last year. This rise handily exceeded the 1.2 percent total rise in sales experienced in all of Albemarle County (see attached 5-year sales trend chart provided courtesy of Nest Realty).

Of the 107 total sales, 87 were for detached and 20 for attached properties. There was one sale over $1m, 4285 Slam Gate Road sold for $1.3m after being on the market for almost four years (this sale was removed from statistical reporting).

The eye-opening statistic for the quarter was that there were 41 sales of new properties, 39 percent of the total sales. That’s a higher than typical figure for sure. Twenty percent of total sales (21) were for properties of an acre or more, homes that tend to be in outlying areas. There were six land sales in the quarter, down from nine at the same time last year. There were two distressed sales (short sale, foreclosure or auction), a low but persistent figure that just won’t go to zero.

The average price of a detached home in Crozet rose 5.5 percent in the quarter, to $497,000. The median price was even higher at $530,000. Of the 86 total detached sales, 35 were for new construction, up from 14 at the same time last year. The majority of these sales were in Old Trail, but Chesterfield Landing, Westlake, and Foothills all boasted a handful of sales as well.

The average price per sqft of these new homes dropped slightly to $196/sqft, but the average price rose to $623,000. This is due to the average size of new homes rising 4.5 percent to 3,224sqft. The average price of a resale property dropped to $434,000, down from $495,000 at the same time last year.

Homes lasted an average of 57 days on the market, up slightly from the same time last year.

There were 20 sales for attached townhouse properties in the quarter, down one sale from the 21 at the same time last year. Six of these sales were for new construction, all in Old Trail. The average price for this year’s newly constructed townhomes was $417,000, up sharply from the $226,000 average price at the same time in 2016. This is due to the average size of these attached houses more than doubling in size from 1,052sqft last year, to 2,246sqft this year. As was the case last year, there were resales in Parkside, Highlands, Clover Lawn, Wickham Pond, Old Trail and Haden Place. But the only current neighborhood for new-construction attached properties remains Old Trail.

Affordability remains a problem with new construction in Crozet. In the second quarter of 2015 the average price for all new construction was $472,000. This price rose to $482,000 for the same period last year, but soared to $593,000 for the second quarter of this year. This staggering increase over the past two years doesn’t seem sustainable, but unless planners/supervisors see fit to authorize neighborhoods of more affordable housing types this upward march in the average price seems inevitable.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the only headwind facing the national real estate market is low inventory. This is being experienced in Crozet as well, with declining resales hampering total sales. As new construction sales continue to represent a larger percentage of total sales, and prices continue to rise, it seems reasonable to assume local folks might stay in their homes a bit longer, especially if they want to stay in Crozet.

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