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Fairfax – The year-over-year home sales trend continued its uptick in September with 1,675 closings compared to the 1,631 transactions that closed in September last year in the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® territory, comprised of Fairfax and Arlington counties, Falls Church and Alexandria.
“Our September housing data provides the final snapshot of our market just before the Nov. 8 election,” said Ryan Conrad, NVAR Chief Executive Officer. “Having a 5 percent increase in transactions in the pipeline as well as a 3 percent increase in total sales, our local economy is clearly NOT at a standstill.”
A solid and healthy prognosis about the housing market prevails, according to Derrick Swaak, managing broker of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty in McLean.
The 5 percent increase in pending sales point to a strong close for the year
“The 5 percent increase in pending sales point to a strong close for the year,” Swaak said. “Election year jitters never quite materialized as average days on market dropped, and the number of September properties sold increased year-over-year.” He estimates that the current market creates a seller’s advantage since inventory, or active listings, is down 17 percent. “Sellers are obtaining contract prices closer to their asking prices,” he explained.
When the supply of homes is tight, selling prices could reflect the pressure from low inventory, explained Gary Lange, managing broker of Weichert, Realty in Vienna. “This year, however, we haven’t seen that same pressure on prices as in past years like this one,” said Lange. “Conservative appraisals and buyers have kept things tempered. Consequently, our prices continue to remain flat.” Lange noted that sellers of houses priced above $1.3 million need “to be patient. Multiple offers do still exist in prices under $500,000 when the home is priced well and updated.”
Today’s buyers want a turnkey house,” said Lange. “Granite, stainless appliances, new carpet and paint are baseline.“The fall can be a great time for buyers,” he said. “Though you don’t have the same inventory to choose from, you may have more opportunity to get closing cost assistance or a reduction in price.”
NVAR Chairman of the Board Virgil Frizzell points to Northern Virginia’s stable market as a sign that despite the changes on the political landscape, the Northern Virginia local market has done well. “Our average and median prices have taken a 3 percent dip, however, that dip is not statistically significant. Northern Virginia continues to benefit from strong private sector employment, reflected in our 3.2 percent unemployment rate,” Frizzell said.
September 2016 Regional Home Sales Compared to September 2015: Northern Virginia
The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® reports on September 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 1,675 homes were sold in September 2016, an increase of 2.7 percent compared to September 2015 home sales of 1,631.
“Our average and median prices have taken a 3 percent dip, however, that dip is not statistically significant."
Active listings decreased this month compared with 2015. Listings were 16.6 percent below last year’s, with 4,853 active listings in September, compared with 5,819 homes available in September 2015. The average days on market (DOM) for homes in September 2016 was 51 days, a decrease of 5.6 percent compared to the 54 DOM for homes in September 2015.
The average home sale price fell slightly compared with last September, to $532,554. This is down about 3 percent compared to September 2015, when the average price was $548,808.
The median sold price of homes this September was $465,000, which was about 3 percent below September 2015’s median of $479,000.
The 1,690 new pending home sales in Northern Virginia in September marks a decrease of 2.3 percent compared with 1,730 pending contracts last year in September. Total pending sales in September were up by about 5 percent, to 2,306, compared with 2,188 pending contracts in September 2015.
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