And you thought roller coasters were only at amusement parks, right? Well, it seems that they’re present in the real estate market as well. In February we saw rates go from the high 5s to the high 6s in less than 10 days, and now they are just over 7%. In January buyers came out in full force, and guess what? They’re still getting into the market as we head into March and the spring market.
Inventory continues to be the biggest adversary today; we only had 180 houses come on the market in the 4th week of February, which is well below the last 5-year average of 675. It was only 251 on the first Friday in March, while in the previous 5 years, we averaged 800.
We continue to see around 1,200 active homes for sale in the Northern Virginia market, which is 65% below 2018’s numbers and 45% below 2019’s numbers. I believe if we had more homes for sale, we would have more sales. At a recent open house, three groups came through before the start of the open house, seven groups went in once it was “officially” open, and when I went in with my clients there were two other groups that came in with us – and it wasn’t more than 15 minutes after the scheduled start. I never heard how many visitors they had or how many offers, but I am sure they had many of both.
On the houses we have for sale, we are seeing as many as 10 contracts on some homes, and more than 50 showings in a weekend – and it’s only February. This is all happening even though rates have crept back up. In the third and fourth quarters of last year, when rates were approaching 7%, buyers were hibernating. I think they feel this is the new norm and now is the time to step up and buy. Because inventory is so low and we have multiple offers, prices will not crash, as many are predicting. It’s a simple economic equation of supply and demand – low supply, high demand, high prices.
In summary, don’t listen to reports in the media. If you want real information on the Northern Virginia real estate market, rely on me. As always, if you are looking to sell or buy, I can give you the right advice to make the best decisions.
Have a great St. Patrick’s Day!