The full 2007 Charlottesville/Albemarle Association of Realtors Year End Market Report can be found here.
Admittedly, 2007 was a markedly different from the handful of years preceding it, where the market was on fire and if you had a home to sell, you had a sale. We are now finding a strong advantage towards buyers that we will expect to see for several months, until the market is able to adjust itself. If we had continued moving ahead at rocket speed we would be even further from the prospect of affordable housing than we already are- this shift in the market may seem bad for sellers, but in truth it is good for everyone. I think that the most important point of the 2007 Year End Report is that made towards first time homebuyers urging the to buy, NOW. First time home buyers have to enter the market and release some of this inventory upwards in order for the market to return to equilibrium. The rates are historically low, buyers will likely never have as many options to choose from, and if you will be able to stay in the house for a minimum of 3-5 years, you should be able to hold the property long enough to ride out this wave of real estate chaos. As quoted by the author of this article, Dave Philips;
As this report points out, the market is down from the records of the last few years, but we will still end up with the 4th highest sales total in history for our MLS. …This is an extraordinary time to buy a home in our area. Interest rates are amazing, the selection of homes is fantastic, and prices are low. For first time home buyers, this is the best market we have seen in years. There are over 500 homes on the market for under $200,000 and there are special financing options for first time buyers.