CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Real estate agents are projecting the city of Charlottesville is poised to have another lively year of home buying and selling.

Agents said the market had already taken off but they've seen several gaps in inventory and affordability.

In speaking with Charlottesville real estate agent Amy Webb, she was not expecting the housing market to be as hot as it was.

Webb said that it is due in part to low-interest rates, and she offered tips and tricks to those looking to buy or sell a home.

“I think if you're planning on selling in the spring of 2019, now is the time,” said Webb. “I’m advising my clients to have their house on the market by March 1.”

For those looking to sell a home in 2019, Webb said the future, at the moment, looks bright.

“Interest rates have surprisingly remained low, in fact just recently they hit a 10 month low and that has sort of brought the market alive,” said Webb.

But, Webb warned that the Charlottesville market will continue to remain very competitive amongst buyers.

“Several of my recent listings have sold with multiple offers, escalation clauses, bidding wars."

Webb said a lack of inventory, especially for first time home buyers, can have a ripple effect on the community.

“I think it can have a dampening effect from an employer’s perspective, it's harder to hire people if people coming in here who aren't at the big huge salaries can't find homes.”

To secure a home you really want, she has a couple of recommendations.

“Make a wish list, understanding that you probably won't get a hundred percent of what you're looking for.”

Charlottesville City Councilor Heather Hill said this niche of first time home buyers is difficult for the council to address.

“There's certainly is a demand in kind of those more middle levels that we just don't have the supply for,” noted Hill. “It's a struggle cause obviously we see other priorities some of you know our lowest income housing where we have some of the greatest need cause it's very you know behind in terms of both the need to redevelop the existing that we have as well as to expand that stock.” 

Both Hill and Webb agreed that there needs to be a multi-prong approach to this issue.

“Housing affordability remains a question or a problem in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area there's not one solution to that problem and I don't think the market itself is going to solve that problem,” said Webb.

In 2018, the median price of a Charlottesville home was $335,000.

Real estate agents said it's still too early to determine this year's median but they do expect an increase if this market pattern continues.