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Fairfax – The Northern Virginia February housing market sales numbers, with 1,192 homes sold, were in lockstep with the favorable January sales numbers, reports the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® .These closings post a 7.58 percent increase over February last year when 1,108 homes sold. While overall February NVAR active listings in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church and Fairfax counties were down by 12 percent, new home listings spiked 6 percent. This added 2,330 properties to the market. In February last year, 2,195 new listings were added.
"The latest data released on sales clearly shows a robust and active real estate market,” said Nicholas Lagos, Century 21 Gawen Realty Broker in Arlington. “The interest is driven due to low inventory and still historically low interest rates.
“We are in such a prosperous region, but we are slowly weaning ourselves from our local economy’s dependence on the federal government,”
“In my opinion, the market is also driven by location,” Lagos continued. “Buyers are seeking properties that are location specific. Whether close to Metro, close to the city, or being in walkable communities like Arlington, Old Town Alexandria or Reston, buyers want convenience.”
Multiple contracts are resulting from the surge in activity in Arlington, Alexandria and other inside-the-beltway locations, he pointed out. “The property will sell fast if it shows well and is well priced. It is an optimum time for buyers to enter the market, especially millennials who are still hesitant to buy."
The 2017 winter has played a decisive role in the Northern Virginia market. “With a warmer than normal winter this year, the spring market started early, said Realtor® Peter Nguyen, with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty in McLean. Due to low inventory levels, he said, “we have buyers feeling frustrated and priced out of the market. Most buyers are needing a higher down payment and use the escalation clause.” An escalation clause is used by buyers who are willing to increase their offer by going above another prospective buyer’s higher bid.
Explained the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® Chairman of the Board Bob Adamson, “We are all aware that our modest inventory of two-and-one-half months’ supply has been the rule rather than the exception for years. In spite of this, these first two months of this year posted favorable sales numbers, which foreshadow our spring market.
"Our NVAR region has 2,411 pending contracts, which is a 3 percent increase over February last year. This is a clear indication of confidence by sellers and buyers as well as our Realtors®.”
Noted NVAR CEO Ryan Conrad, the opening months of this year show early and strong seasonality. He pointed out that while the Federal Reserve seems destined to raise interest rates in March, supply and demand for market activity remain strong. “Our NVAR region has 2,411 pending contracts, which is a 3 percent increase over February last year. This is a clear indication of confidence by sellers and buyers as well as our Realtors®.”
Chart on NOVA Regional Inventory Levels: 2017 versus 2016
February 2017 Regional Home Sales Compared to February 2016: Northern Virginia
The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® reports on February 2017 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 1,192 homes sold in February 2017, a 7.58 percent increase above February 2016 home sales of 1,108.
Active listings decreased this month compared with 2016. Listings were down about 12 percent below last year’s, with 2,974 active listings in February, compared with 3,375 homes available in February 2016. The average days on market (DOM) for homes in February 2017 was 67 days, a decrease of 16.25 percent compared to the 80 DOM for homes in February 2016.
The average home sale price rose compared with last February, to $552,942. This is up 2.88 percent compared to February 2016, when the average price was $537,464.
The median sold price of homes this February, which was $465,700, rose by about 3 percent compared to the median price of $451,250 in February 2016.
The 1,832 new pending home sales in Northern Virginia in February marks an increase of 5.35 percent compared with 1,739 contracts that were pending in February last year. Total pending sales in February were up by almost 3 percent, to 2,411, compared with 2,341 pending contracts in February 2016.