An accidental change to the way researchers gathered information about home sales and prices created an inaccurate picture of Central Virginia’s housing market in the first quarter of 2021, according to officials with the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors.
The error occurred in reporting home sales data in March and impacted final numbers on closed sales, median sales prices and other categories, officials said in a Thursday statement attached to a reworked quarterly report.
“Virginia Realtors and CAAR conducted extensive research to determine the root cause of the error. It was determined to be an inadvertent modification of the data feed,” officials said in the statement. “The data feed has been fixed to avoid similar reporting issues for future reports.”
CAAR covers the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Greene, Nelson, Louisa and Fluvanna counties.
The officials said they are adding quality assurance measures to help prevent the mistake from occurring again.
“It is our sincere desire and professional mandate to ensure the accuracy of the data presented,” they said.
According to the revised report, figures show a 27% increase in the number of homes sold in the region in the first three months of 2021 compared with the same period in 2020. Median sales prices rose by $43,000, or 14%, quarter over quarter.
At the same time, the number of homes for sale at the end of the first quarter dropped 61% from the first quarter of last year, the report shows.
Greene County sales fell by 7% between the first quarters of 2020 and 2021, while the number of homes sold in Charlottesville rose 4% and Albemarle County homes sales increased by 22%.
In the meantime, Nelson County sales soared in the first quarter with 87% more homes sold in 2021 compared with the same time last year. Louisa County saw a 32% rise in homes sold, and Fluvanna County had a 45% increase.
The updated CAAR report shows the first-quarter housing market continuing signs of strong growth in the first quarter of 2021 with sales outpacing last year and home prices rising in all parts of the region.
A low supply of homes for sale continues to create a highly competitive market for buyers, which is driving up prices around the region and causing homes to sell much faster, the amended report states.
Homes in the region sold quickly, the figures show. They ranged from an average of 28 days on the market in Fluvanna to as long as 67 days in Nelson. Charlottesville homes sold, on average, 34 days after entering the market. Albemarle homes were available for an average 55 days before sale.
Median sales prices, the prices for which as many homes sold for more as sold for less, rose 14% over the first quarter of 2020, to $345,000 across the region.
Nelson County led the region, with median sale prices skyrocketing 46% from $211,500 in the first quarter of 2020 to $308,000 in 2021’s first three months.
Albemarle County median sales prices rose 10%, from $389,421 in 2020’s first quarter to $429,900 this year. Charlottesville sales prices rose 18%, from $337,000 in 2020’s first three months to $397,650 this year.
Fluvanna County prices jumped 14% to $270,700 this year from last year’s first-quarter price of $237,000. Greene County saw a 13% price rise from $275,000 to $312,000, and Louisa County prices rose 13% from 2020’s $249,975 to 2021’s first-quarter cost of $282,651.