Home foreclosures in Charlottesville are on the rise, up almost 25 percent from the same time a year ago. But many are convinced the health of the area's real estate market is stable.
With the foreclosure rate now just under 1 percent, affluent areas are being hit the hardest as people struggle to make heftier mortgage payments. But even with the increase, many say they aren't concerned, especially when considering how Charlottesville stacks up against the rest of the country.
It might sound like bad news but Barbara McMurray with the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors says you shouldn't be concerned over Charlottesville's recently released foreclosure data.
"My feeling has always been things are never as bad as they seem, and neither are they as good as they seem," stated McMurray.
Nationally, foreclosures continue to rate near 3.6 percent. The statewide average is around 1.6 percent. Compared with data below 1 percent in Charlottesville, things don't seem that bad.
McMurray said, "Our market has sustained at a better rate than many of the markets, but…it's an unhappy thing when one house goes into foreclosure."
Tim Hulbert of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce insists what spells bad news for those losing their homes is good news for potential buyers.
"There's always, I hate saying it, there's always a silver lining in that it makes houses a little bit more affordable. If you're a buyer, you're in a better position, obviously, than if you're a seller. It does have a negative impact on homebuilding, but even there we're seeing an uptick," stated Hulbert.
Despite even these negative impacts, Hulbert and others are looking ahead with optimism.
"Look out the window today, it's a beautiful place to live, so clearly people want to come here and want to stay here. I feel confident that a year from now we'll look back and we'll see that our market has survived," said McMurray.
While foreclosure rates have risen, the percentage of loans that are more than 90 days overdue continues to fall. The Charlottesville area delinquency rate fell to 2.7 percent in March, almost 5 percentage points less than the national average.