September Market Update

My whole career I have been asked, “So, how’s the market?” Well, this year and more specifically, in the last few months, I have been asked this even more. It is a loaded question because it depends on whether you are a buyer, a seller, or if you are looking to rent and most importantly where you are looking to do any of these types of transactions.  After we clarify what they want to know, I find it is a lot of curiosity because people love to talk about real estate. It also is of interest to them because in our discussions I hear things like, “I don’t see any for sale signs in my neighborhood”, “when houses go up for sale in my area, they sell right away”, “my friend is looking for a house and they are losing out on multiple contracts” and many other similar comments so there is a genuine interest in “How’s the market”.

Overall, in Northern Virginia, the inventory on active resale homes is down over 31% from last year and units sold are virtually the same which means it is extremely competitive to be a buyer and if you price your house correctly, you can be a very happy seller. As always it is a hyper-local market so let’s take a deeper dive into the counties.

  • Arlington County – the Amazon Effect is keeping inventory low, median days on the market extremely low but interestingly enough, prices are not as high as you would think considering the supply and demand in that area. Closed sales are down as inventory is down and prices are up just 4%. Houses sell quickly – median days on market are just 9!
Statistic Jul YoY MoM
Total Sold Dollar Volume 182,179,254 down5.9% down7.5%
Closed Sales 266 down9.5% -0.4%
Median Sold Price $616,000 up1.3% +9%
Average Sold Price $684,884 up4% -7.2%
Median Days on Market 9 days down75.7% 0%
Average Days on Market 30 days down40% -16.7%
  • Fairfax County – Prices are up Year over Year but down Month over Month which indicates sellers are starting off too high and then making adjustments to get them sold. Days on market for Median Days and average days indicate a strong market but remember, price is critical to getting houses sold today. Closed sales are up Year over Year but are down Month over Month.
Statistic Jul YoY MoM
Total Sold Dollar Volume 1,027,443,963 up7.9% down5.9%
Closed Sales 1,680 up6.5% -4.8%
Median Sold Price $539,900 up2.3% -4.4%
Average Sold Price $612,668 up1.5% -1.1%
Median Days on Market 17 days down56.4% +6.3%
Average Days on Market 33 days down31.3% +6.5%
  • Loudoun County – the market in Loudoun is slowing a little as they are experiencing what other regions are – Year over Year gains but Month over Month declines. Median Days on Market jumped MoM but prices are maintaining in the area.  There is lots of pent up demand in Loudoun – stay tuned on their progress.
Statistic Jul YoY MoM
Total Sold Dollar Volume 408,811,460 up8.4% down2.8%
Closed Sales 747 up1.8% -1.2%
Median Sold Price $512,250 up8.5% -0.5%
Average Sold Price $549,478 up6.9% -1.4%
Median Days on Market 23 days down39.5% +43.8%
Average Days on Market 38 days down34.5% +22.6%
  • Prince William County – consistent with the other counties showing price reductions but an overall strong market as sales are strong and Days on Market are low. Prince William offers the lowest prices so more value!
Statistic Jul YoY MoM
Total Sold Dollar Volume 318,271,988 up5.4% down1.5%
Closed Sales 778 down0.4% 0%
Median Sold Price $385,000 up6.9% -2.5%
Average Sold Price $409,616 up5.9% -1.8%
Median Days on Market 24 days down41.5% +14.3%
Average Days on Market 38 days down19.2% +5.6%

Remember, within the counties, there is also a deeper dive that needs to be taken into consideration in neighborhoods and price points. Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of what is happening in our real estate market in Northern Virginia.  If you have any questions or concerns or if you are looking to make a move, please feel free to call me.

Aside

Is it over yet? Why Northern Virginia Home Sales Went On A Wild Roller Coaster Ride

October took the real estate market roller coaster ride.

Rates went up, rates came down.  Sales went down, sales went up.  Inventory rose, inventory came back down.

Real Estate Market Roller Coaster Ride 31OCT2013

In some areas, the number of multiple contracts went down, then they went back up.  Inventory of short sales and foreclosures were down, then they rose but luckily by not too much.  The government shut down and the government opened back up – luckily, it was not too long and did not have a tremendous impact on the housing market.

Our emotions went up, our emotions came back down, as there was a lot of concern about delays in closings associated with the shut down because of the reduced number of employees at FHA and the IRS, but we avoided a potential disaster there.  Additionally, we were worried about the government defaulting on their debt which would have sent interest rates skyrocketing, and again, fortunately, this did not happen.

Even though there were so many ups and downs, the market in October this year was still better compared to a year ago.  There were more home sales, higher home prices and more homes for sale for buyers to choose from, although the uncertainty skewed people’s perception.  So now you know why October was such a roller coaster for real estate.

What lies ahead on the horizon as we enter the winter market?  My belief is we will be in our typical winter market.  Homes will come off the market for the holidays.  Motivated, savvy buyers will be out buying homes.  Interest rates will remain in the low 4% range.  Home prices will continue to stabilize throughout the Northern Virginia area.  Houses that are priced right, in the right condition and right location will see multiple offers and our market won’t be as up and down as it was in October.  Basically, we will continue to have a robust housing market locally.

To learn more about your situation, please feel free to call me today. Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway, LLC

Prince William Listing Exchange

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Jason Smith’s comments:

Inventory levels up slightly but everything else is staying steady so the market is going strong!  We are just under a 2 month supply of houses in

Prince William County.  The active inventory has 36% of the market as distressed sales.  Nationally, inventory levels are up 7.6% in July – here we are down – houses continue to sell which is great news for us.  There was a home with 20 contracts on it in Piedmont priced under $350,000.  It is still a very competitive environment for us in the first time buyer price range.  New construction activity is up as well and KB Homes is coming back to our area – stay tuned on where as we haven’t heard yet.

Loan modifications aren’t working with a majority of the lenders – anywhere.  The push to modify from the government hasn’t yielded results from what we’ve heard. 

There are very few FSBO’s on the market as well.  Auction activity only showed 3 houses on the “block” in October – other auctions previously featured 100’s of houses…the tide is changing – inventory is getting absorbed prior to auction.

Scott’s comments:

Career Night, September 24th: Bring an agent and get into a drawing for a designation and your guest agent gets thrown into a separate drawing for a designation at the end of the night. We’d love for you to invite those agents that would be a great fit for our company.

Business planning retreat…Pat Cunningham is one of our wonderful sponsors. Friday starts with golf, spa, cocktail party, and business planning starts on Saturday. It’s going to be a different format this year  with tons of interaction to help jump start your 2010!  The location is easy to get to and it’s a beautiful resort – the Hyatt in Cambridge  be sure to sign up today.

In today’s Market Watch, our monthly market update you will see that there is not much to talk about this month. For the first time in a long time, there is nothing earth shattering. It’s been relatively quiet.  There is nothing new that we need to be concerned about – yet.  There is a lot coming down the pike so stay tuned.  So what’s next?  Is the loan limit going to stay $729,750 or is going to be cut back to revert back to $629,650. Is the first time buyer tax credit going to be extended or will it go away?   When are rates going to go up and how high? When is the government going to dismiss the FED’s advice to continue to purchase mortgage backed securities.   If inventory levels go up by a thousand houses – BOA foreclosures in

Northern Virginia – it’s not going to affect the market too drastically.

Right now we are at May of 2005 inventory levels.  We need more homes to sell!

Pat Cunningham agrees that there is not much has been going on the mortgage front.   Rates are awesome – ARM’s are coming more into favor because of better education and lower start rates.

A year ago I remember the mid September of last year and we were literally in a financial firestorm and one of the things I was thinking then is about the fact that that Fannie & Freddie were going out of the business and lending institution having a hard time making loan and wondering if there will there be a credit freeze.

Let’s fast forward to today, its business as usual. We’ve gotten out of the toughest financial market of our time.  Interest rates are at historic lows.  PMI may require anti-flipping rules to be enforced and will be scrutinized heavily on 91-120 days be on the lookout for changes in this arena.

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