Last week I asked 100 of the top realtors in Charlottesville 4 questions about our local market.
1) Will 2014 be stronger than 2013? 94% said yes, 6% said it will be the same, and 0% said 2014 will be weaker. I have to admit, this was a bit surprising. I was thinking it would be about 50-50. Our local realtors win the optimism award! I love it!
2) What is the one thing keeping sales down right now? 33% said inventory, 27% said the national economy, 24% said the weather, and 16% said lending. It’s possible that the weather has kept inventory down so those might go hand in hand. But a lot of the responses pointed to sales really picking up over the next 2 months as the weather improves and more people list their houses, as well as start looking for homes in the spring warmth and sunshine.
3) Is lending currently too tight? 69% said yes and 31% said no. A lot of the responses indicated that although the qualifying process is not too tight, the paperwork and documentation is a giant pain. There were also a number of responses pointing out that there are not enough first time homebuyer programs available.
4) What makes Charlottesville a strong market? This question brought out the biggest responses. The number 1 answer was UVA. The number 2 answer was the local economy and number 3 was the community (schools, hospitals, etc.). A lot of the answers had all 3. UVA, the local economy, and the community. Basically, all 3 of these go together. Charlottesville is a unique and beautiful place. One agent put it perfect, “Charlottesville has a big city culture and lifestyle with a small town friendly intimacy.” Well said!
Thank you to all the agents!