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January Housing Data for the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® Region
Kicks Off 2016 with a Few Bright Spots, Some Snowed Under
Blizzard Chills New Listings, New Contracts;
Closed Sales Inch Up Slowly Based on new TRID Rules
Fairfax – Housing data for January for the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® footprint coupled with good local labor force trends set a favorable start for 2016. “NVAR’s January housing statistics reveal that our market started with reasonable momentum – more home sales than last January -- in spite of Snowpocalypse’s show-stopping effects,” said NVAR CEO Ryan T. Conrad.
Noting that the active January NVAR listings of 3,259 were 6 percent higher than last January’s active listings of 3,074, Conrad said this might signal the long-awaited return to normalcy. New listings declined 10 percent, new under contracts declined about 5 percent and new pendings declined about 9 percent in January compared to 2015. The blizzard, he explained, slowed down showings and appointments.
Cabin Fever and TRID Rules Affect the Market
“The sold transactions still indicate that the majority of properties on the market are selling in less than three months and over 90 percent selling in less than 180 days.”
The kickoff to the New Year was hamstrung because of weather. “The historic snow storm impacted the number of new listings as well as the under contracts and new pending listings,” said Suzanne Granoski, a Realtor® with RE/Max Executives in Alexandria and the 2016 NVAR Chairman Elect. “There are actually more pendings than last year at this time, and some of that can be attributed to the longer time it takes to close under the new TRID rules that went into effect on Oct. 3.” Current pendings are at 1,862, while last year at this time there were 1,778, which was 5 percent fewer.
“The sold transactions still indicate that the majority of properties on the market are selling in less than three months and over 90 percent selling in less than 180 days,” she explained.
“January 31 open houses were well attended with agents noting some record numbers,” Granoski observed. “The cabin fever from not being able to see things the week before brought out house hunters in droves,” she noted.
Neither Sellers nor Buyers Have the Upper Hand
According to NVAR Chairman of the Board Virgil Frizzell, “Our January market statistics show that we continue to experience a relatively well-balanced residential real estate market, where neither sellers nor buyers have the upper hand. For the mid-range of homes, properly-priced properties in good shape sell relatively quickly,” he said. “More expensive homes, or homes that need work, may remain on the market longer.”
Frizzell noted that stable to somewhat lower mortgage rates may help some buyers make the decision to become sellers sooner rather than later. In addition, the unemployment rate locally of only 3 percent helps boost confidence in those who are considering a home purchase, he added. Also, where employment is strong, the need for housing increases, he said.
January 2016 Regional Home Sales Compared to January 2015:
The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® reports on January 2016 home sales activity for Fairfax and Arlington counties, the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church and the towns of Vienna, Herndon and Clifton.
A total of 1,007 homes sold in January 2016, a slight increase of less than 1 percent above January 2015 home sales of 999.
Active listings increased this month compared with 2015. Listings were up 5.99 percent over last year, with 3,256 active listings in January, compared with 3,072 homes available in January 2015. The average days on market (DOM) for homes in January 2016 was 75 days, an increase of 4.17 percent compared to the 72 DOM for homes in January 2015.
The average home sale price dipped slightly compared with last January, to $532,863. This is down 2.05 percent compared to January 2015, when the average price was $544,043.
The median sold price of homes this January, which was $460,000, rose by 2.68 percent compared to the median price of $448,000 in January 2015.
The 1,272 new pending home sales in Northern Virginia in January marks a decrease of 9.14 percent compared with 1,400 contracts that were pending in January of last year. Total pending sales in January were up by 4.72 percent, to 1,862, compared with 1,778 pending contracts in January 2015.
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