Home prices up again in the greater Charlottesville area

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Charlottesville area real estate market appears to be part of a national housing trend.

According to the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors' fourth-quarter report, housing inventory is tight., which means it's a seller's market.

According to CAAR President Arleen Yobs, there was a 15 percent decrease in available homes to buy over the same period in 2016, and there are several reasons.

"The economy is definitely stronger, interest rates have remained low, but also unemployment numbers are at the lowest they have been in years," she said. "They are around three percent overall for the state of Virginia and that really helps would be buyers and sellers to feel a little bit more confident."

And she says that translated into a 7.5-percent increase in home sales the last three months of 2017.

However, the big question many people are asking is if they can afford the hefty home price.

Experts say don't let that median price of $300,000 put you off from buying your first home, because there are a variety of programs you can choose from to make that purchase.

"It's really interesting, there are so many folks that think they need a 20-percent down payment to purchase a house and really there are many options available that offer homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers the ability to get in with much less," added Yobs.

She suggests checking out the Piedmont Housing Alliance.

And for renters like Yoi Tibbets, he says he sees the reason why the average home price has jumped from $267,000 in 4th quarter 2016 to $300,000 in 2017.

"I have never bought a house, so I am in no position to buy currently, but if I were to give that estimate, of whether it's worth it, I would probably say yes," he said. "Charlottesville is an up and coming town."

The Charlottesville Area Realtors Association suggests you do your homework in finding the right realtor for you.

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