March 24, 2006
A U.S. Commerce Department report says that new homes sales dropped 10.5% last month, but do those numbers hold true for Charlottesville?
For the first time in five years, the national real estate market is showing signs of slowing. Last month, new home sales declined 10.5%, the largest drop in nearly nine years. Pat Surry, the President of the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors says the numbers may be misleading.
"If you look at numbers, probably not as strong as last year, 2005, but we had an abnormally amazing first quarter of 2005," she said.
While the numbers seem to indicate a cooling off period nationally, here at home, agents say new home sales remain strong.
"We are starting to get a little closer to that even balance between buyers and seller. That's where we want to be. We couldn't sustain where we were before," Surry said.
One reason for the closer balance is the rise in inventory. The Charlottesville market has 30% more homes for sale right now then at the same time last year.
"We also have had a lot of new construction and a lot of condo conversions. Several apartment complexes have converted into condominiums," said Surry.
Surry says combining a greater inventory and a strong demand should lead to a strong year.
"We're not saying this is going to be the best year. But we're saying it's going to be the second best year. We're still looking for a good year and this first quarter has been very good," she said.
The Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors says they will have a more comprehensive look at the market when their first quarter report comes out next month.