CAAR Releases Year End Report on Real Estate

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A new real estate report for 2015 is out for greater Charlottesville and it shows some healthy news for the housing market.

The 2015 report from the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR) came out Monday morning. The report goes into the good, the bad and the predictions of the area's market for 2016.

With 3,282 homes sold in greater Charlottesville, 2015 marked a peak since 2006. According to the report, half of those homes sold in 46 days or less.

Additionally, the median price stayed at $270,000, the same as 2014.

“It's healthy when the market stays steady, or increases slowly. You don't want the market to go up too quickly, because we end up in the same situation we were in before. So it's really good for the market,” said CAAR President Donna Patton.

However, the report indicates inventory is 16.5 percent lower than this time last year.

“Low inventory continues to be a significant challenge. It's combined by the fact that a lot of the new construction is above the 4,5, 6 hundred-thousand dollar price point, and that doesn't speak to a lot of the demand that's out there,” said Jim Duncan with Nest Reality.

Buyers who can't find affordable housing continue to rent.

“The best answer to that is for people to save and wait for the right time to buy, because they're not creating any new homes in the lower price points,” Duncan said.

Another potential challenge in 2016 is the price of money.

“The slightly upward pressure on interest rates, and more importantly the perception of increased interested rates. I think that's something for buyers and sellers to be aware of, but certainly should not be the driving factor in any decision,” said Duncan.

Duncan says that stems from the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates for the first time since June 2006. He believes banks and the housing market will be able to respond as long as we stay in the same general range of interest rates in 2016.