Home sale prices surged upward throughout most of the Charlottesville area in December, according to the Long & Foster Real Estate Market Minute Report. Aside from Albemarle County, which had a 4% drop, major inclines included Buckingham County with a 177% jump and Fluvanna County with a 30% rise. The number of homes sold varied, with Nelson County having a 63% increase, while Greene County saw no year-over-year change. Inventory continued its downward trend and days on market ranged from 34 days to 100 days.
“It’s exciting to see how much ‘units sold’ are up across the board,” said Larry “Boomer” Foster, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “There’s still a lot of demand, so we’re seeing double-digit increases and low days on market.”
With inventory continuing to be challenged, the need for more single-family homes is desired. However, homebuilders are currently also trying to meet demand in the rental space, making inventory within the sales space even tighter. Though builders are building at a fast pace, until the homes that are being held by older generations get put on the market, inventory may continue to be scarce.
Reflecting on the past year, Foster observed that 2020 was marked by low interest rates, record-high demand and low inventory. Historically, the real estate market is tracked by consumer confidence and employment. However, the pandemic threw everything for a loop. Interest rates hit all-time lows 14 times last year, giving consumers more purchasing power.
“It’s a very hot market right now, especially with days on market under 30 for many regions,” Foster said. For those looking to buy or sell in 2021, they need to be prepared for the current environment, but also potential changes. As the economy recovers, people will move their money out of treasury bills, which will push the 30-year fixed rate up. While Foster does not anticipate interest rates going above 3%, having consumers be aware of it will allow them to better prepare for any potential moves.