CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -- Home sales continue to go up in the Charlottesville area, according to a new report from the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR).
The new CAAR report, published Tuesday, says home sales in 2014 were the highest since before the recession.
"We have a much improved market. The economy is looking really good. Home sellers now are more comfortable putting their homes on the market," said CAAR president Anita Dunbar.
In the greater Charlottesville area, home sales were up two percent for the third consecutive year. Dunbar says lower interest rates have made it easier for first time home buyers to purchase a house.
"Home prices are at a level where nurses, policemen, firemen are able to purchase again. I think it's positive for purchasers, as well as sellers," Dunbar said.
Greene County saw biggest increase in sales, with a 12.6 gains over a flat 2013.
"The surrounding counties tend to lag behind the Charlottesville Albemarle market, and now they are catching up," said Dunbar. "Also Greene county has two government agencies, so as a result of that we are seeing a lot families move to Greene County."
Greene residents say they've noticed the up tick in home sales. Rita Holt has lived in Greene County for seven years. She says more people moving to the area has encouraged more businesses to open up.
"I've seen incredible change," Holt said. "People coming to the area will be pleasantly surprised how convenient it is here now in Greene County."
Bonnie Rines says she's been able to expand her drying cleaning business, All Star Cleaners, thanks to in influx of new residents.
"It's growing so much, it's crazy," said Rines.
Rines says not only is the price is right in Greene, but the expanding businesses help attract home buyers.
"They are not having to pay Charlottesville prices. They aren't having to travel to Madison. Ruckersville right here. 29, sheets, coffee, dry cleaner, drop off, head on down," Rines said.
Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR) Year-End Market Report shows that the annual home sales in Greater Charlottesville were up 2.0% over 2013 - marking the third consecutive year with gains.
Median sales price for 2014 was the highest level since 2007 and was 1.9% higher than 2013.
Charlottesville Area Year-End 2014 Highlights:
· Annual home sales in Greater Charlottesville were up 2.0% over 2013, marking the third consecutive year with gains.
· Sales increased in five of the six jurisdictions, led by a 12.6% year-over-year sales gain in Greene County.
· The median sales price for 2014 was the highest level since 2007 and was 1.9% higher than 2013.
· Half the homes sold in 2014 were on the market 52 days or less, representing the lowest Median Days on Market since 2006.
· After a 4th Quarter that saw 10.0% more sales than last year, active inventory at year-end is slightly down from the year-end 2013 level (-0.9%).
Charlottesville area home prices in 2014 were only 6.6% lower than the $289,000 peak in 2007 and were 10.2% higher than the $245,000 low of 2011.