Western Albemarle Second Quarter Real Estate Report: Crozet Housing Market Picks Up Again

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What a wonderful Fourth of July celebration we had in Crozet several Saturdays ago! Thanks to all the volunteers and donors that helped make this community party such a success. And what wonderful fireworks! 

Also explosive is the Crozet real estate market in 2019. A strong second quarter has led to a total of 150 property sales in the first half of 2019, an 8% increase over the same time last year. This is in contrast to the overall 2.5% sales decline experienced in Albemarle County as a whole, as shown in the chart above provided courtesy of Nest Realty.

For the second quarter in Crozet there were 99 total property sales (two of which were for over $1m; these will be excluded for statistical purposes), a 28% increase over the same time last year. New home construction sales rose 65% to 25 sales in the quarter, a large increase over 2018, but still behind the 41 total sales in the same quarter in 2017. Thirteen of the quarterly sales were for properties on an acre or more, which tend to be in outlying areas. There were four land sales in the quarter, up from three in 2018. And for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2016 there were no distressed sales, which is awesome and hopefully the start of a trend!

The average price for a detached home in the quarter was largely unchanged at $484,000. Of the 71 sales, 19 were for new construction. Sparrow Hill accounted for six of these new sales, with the balance being in Old Trail, Westlake and Chesterfield Landing. The average new home price dropped 8% to $594,000, while the average size rose almost 11%. Lower cost for larger homes suggests a softening of new home pricing, a fact reflected in the average construction cost per square foot dropping over 22% for the quarter to $173/sq.ft. The average price of a re-sale detached home rose slightly to $443,000, the number of days on the market also rose from 36 to 43, perhaps suggesting a slight easing of demand and/or increased inventory/choice.

There were 26 attached properties sold in the quarter, up from 18 sold in the same quarter last year. Six of these were for new construction, up from only one at the same time last year. The attached villas at Glenbrook are picking up steam, accounting for half of the new sales. The average new construction price was $421,000. The average price of a resale attached property was $306,000, taking an average of 30 days to sell. This days-on-market figure is up slightly as well, again perhaps indicating softening demand or more choice. And choice should be increasing later in the year, when the 268-unit Pleasant Green community breaks ground.

Flat prices and increasing days on market could be an indicator that recent tight inventory is improving—a sentiment echoed by Sam Khater, the chief economist at Freddie Mac, who states “…In the near term, we expect the housing market to continue to improve from both a sales and price perspective.” 

Freddie Mac goes on to report that 30-year mortgage rates hit a two-year low in June of 3.82%. With the federal reserve recently changing course on rates, and now seemingly indicating future rate reductions, the late summer and fall could be an excellent time to purchase a home. And with the stock market hovering at all-time highs, economist Mark Hulbert’s words could echo true: “Real estate may be one of your best investments during the next bear market for stocks.” 

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