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July Home Sales Dip With Summer in Full Swing, More Transactions in the Pipeline; Current Mortgage Rates Lure Qualified, Serious Buyers
Fairfax – Home sale closings took a nearly 5 percent dip last month in July with 2,209 closings compared to 2,322 closings one year ago in the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® footprint.
“In spite of fewer listings and sales, the transaction traffic did pick up, especially in the middle-priced homes, ranging from $400,000 to $800,000.”
This consists of Fairfax and Arlington counties, Falls Church and Alexandria. The silver lining for last month is found in the 2,889 pending transactions, a more than 14 percent increase when compared to the 2,529 pendings one year ago. “This could be an indicator of some strong months of sales activity ahead, yet with political campaigns heating up, this is not guaranteed,” said NVAR Chairman Virgil Frizzell. “In spite of fewer listings and sales, the transaction traffic did pick up, especially in the middle-priced homes, ranging from $400,000 to $800,000. Summer typically trails our spring market, as this data shows.”
According to Gary Lange of Weichert, Realtors® in Vienna, “There are plenty of buyers out there, but the challenge we have is that some inventory has been on for a while.” Buyers are discerning, he explained, and are reluctant to select homes that need work or are not priced realistically. “Homes that show well and are priced right are getting snatched up sometimes in competitive bidding situations,” he said.
The first half of July was slower and the last two weeks of July were frenzied, explained Lange. “Sellers aren’t giving away their homes, but buyers aren’t letting the lack of inventory pressure them into paying more than they have to or buy a home that doesn’t meet their needs,” he said
NVAR CEO Ryan Conrad pointed out that not only do presidential campaign seasons slow down the housing market in Northern Virginia, but the affordable housing shortage does, too. “We know some renters might be sidelined by their debt-to-income ratios, but the reality of 3.5 percent interest rates should provide a great incentive,” he said. Even low or no downpayment mortgage options are increasing in today’s market.”
According to Moon Choi of RE/MAX Executives in Fairfax, rental prices are continuing to rise based on renter demand. He confirmed that houses in the middle price ranges move quickly. “I had first-time-buyer clients whose price range was $400,000~$430,000, and they finally got a home after losing out on several homes in the last three months,” he said.
“A couple of my other buyers in a similar price range are still searching. They prefer to buy now rather than wait and see.”
July 2016 Regional Home Sales Compared to July 2015: Northern Virginia
The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® reports on July 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 2,209 homes were sold in July 2016, a decrease of almost 5 percent compared to July 2015 home sales of 2,322.
"The average days on market (DOM) for homes in July 2016 was 41 days, an increase of 2.5 percent compared to the 40 DOM for homes in July 2015."
Active listings decreased this month compared with 2015. Listings were about 15 percent below last year’s, with 4,989 active listings in July, compared with 5,864 homes available in July 2015. The average days on market (DOM) for homes in July 2016 was 41 days, an increase of 2.5 percent compared to the 40 DOM for homes in July 2015.
The average home sale price held steady compared with last July, at $565,567. This is down just a fraction of 1 percent compared to July 2015, when the average price was $566,558.
The median sold price of homes this July, which was $510,000, rose by 2 percent compared to the median price of $499,900 in July 2015.
The 2,030 new pending home sales in Northern Virginia in July marks an increase of 3.57 percent compared with 1,960 contracts that were pending in July of last year. Total pending sales in July were up by more than14 percent, to 2,889, compared with 2,529 pending contracts in July 2015.
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