Housing Sales Cool Off Slightly
By the end of the second quarter of 2020, the Covid effect on local real estate became apparent. Simply put, there were more buyers than sellers, and sales rose almost 28% for the year as new construction exploded and resale inventory shrunk. This torrid pace continued into 2021, but for the first time in four quarters, sales year-to-year have taken a pause. There were a total of 126 sales in Crozet in the third quarter of 2021, down 6% from the same time last year. But there have been 349 total sales year-to-date, eclipsing the total number of sales in 2019, and 2021 will likely top last year’s stunning total sales figure.
The decline in sales for the quarter in Crozet contrasts slightly with the 1.5% sales uptick overall in Albemarle County (see quarterly sales chart provided courtesy of Nest Realty).
Of the 126 total quarterly sales, 75 were for detached homes, and 51 were attached townhomes/villas. Four of the sales were for over $1m. These sales will be excluded for statistical purposes in this report (but as such sales occur more often, this may change going forward). Fifty-four of the sales were for new construction, split equally between attached/detached. Pleasant Green led with 13 new attached sales, while Old Trail led in detached new home sales. There were nine sales of properties larger than an acre, which represents about 7.5% of total sales. This figure used to hover closer to 15-20%, but has been declining as more sales are either attached or in smaller parcel neighborhoods. There were nine land sales in the quarter, more than double the four sales at the same time last year. There were no distressed sales in the quarter, a figure that could struggle to stay at zero as Covid-related mortgage forbearance programs end.
The average price for a detached home exploded 20% in the quarter to $610,000. This was due to radical price increases in both resale and new construction homes. Of the 71 sales, 27 were for new construction. The average new construction price rose 13% to $682,000. Old Trail was the new home volume leader with 11 sales, Westlake being close behind with nine sales. The cost of construction for these new homes continued to rise, up 21% to $244 per sqft. Material costs have leveled off and, in some cases, fallen, so hopefully the price-of-construction increases the market has experienced as a result of Covid 19 will take a breather. The average price of a resale home rose 20%, to $541,000, though the number of actual sales fell a third to only 44 sales. Seventy percent of these resale properties sold for their list price or more. And they sold in a median of four days, compared to 27 days at the same time last year. Resale inventory was tight. In many instances, sellers couldn’t find a replacement property if they sold.
There were 51 attached home sales in the quarter, up 24% from the 41 sales in 2020. Twenty-seven of these sales were for new construction, with 13 being in Pleasant Green. The average price for these new builds held relatively steady at $414,000. There were 24 resale homes sold in the quarter, rising 14% in average price to $355,000. Two thirds of these homes sold for their list price or more, and sold in a median of eight days, down from 50 days in 2020!
According to the data and analytic company CoreLogic, their nationwide Home Price Index rose 18% in August 2021 when compared to August of last year. This was the largest gain in the 45 years since the inception of the index. Looking to the end of 2021 and beyond, most real estate experts expect a deceleration in the torrid appreciation pace experienced in the past 12 months. But make no mistake, real estate will continue to appreciate at above-average levels for the foreseeable future.