The Northern Virginia real estate market performance in April 2017, points to improving market conditions for Northern Virginia home sellers. The average number of days on the market was down from 52 days on the market in March 2017 to 36 days on the market in April. The decreasing number of new listings was one of the drivers for the lower number of days on the market.
Although the number of closed sales was up over 12% between March and April, the number of new listings adding supply to the market was down by almost 6% from March to April. In addition, the median sale price increased over 3% from March to April.
The additional market pressure from expected interest rate increases throughout the remainder of 2017 means that buyers will be competing for a smaller number of homes on the market. Specific neighborhood market dynamics, however, vary by city throughout Northern Virginia.
City of Alexandria
The current market conditions in the city of Alexandria closely follow the trend for the overall Northern Virginia housing market. Fewer homes were on the market in April compared to the previous month as well as the previous year. The number of days on the market is also decreasing, and the average listing stayed on the market only 36 days in April. In addition, the median sales price in Alexandria, at $525,000, was the highest since last summer. The market in Alexandria was particularly strong for condos in the $200,000-$400,00 price range. – Takeaway: All of these factors indicate a stronger market for home sellers and an increasingly competitive market for buyers.
In April 2017, the Arlington County housing market experienced a dynamic separate from Northern Virginia as a whole. The number of sales that closed in April fell compared to March 2017 as well as April 2016. In addition, the number of new listings increased 3.8% from March. Interestingly, however, the median sold home price increased almost 22% from March to April. These results are likely driven by the fact that a large portion of the sales in April came from 4+ bedroom homes over $1 million. – Takeaway: With pending sales up from the previous month and the average listing staying on the market for just 34 days, the housing market in Arlington County looks strong for sellers over the next month.
City of Fairfax
Fairfax City is the only locality that saw a decrease in its median sales price in April 2017. The number of closed sales was down 20% from March, and the number of new listings was flat. Although the number of new pending sales increased over 24% from March, the median home sales price was down 0.8% from March and over 2% from April 2016. The weakness in the market, however, is mainly confined to the condo market. While condos did see an increase in price over March 2017, the average sold price was 16% less over April 2016. Townhomes with at least 3 bedrooms experienced large price gains compared to the previous year. – Takeaway: With 50% of homes going under contract in less than 10 days, and investors paying cash for condos, Fairfax City is still a competitive market.
City of Falls Church
In April, there were a small number of homes listed for sale within the City of Falls Church and buyers moved quickly. Listings in Falls Church City were on the market an average of just 9 days in April 2017, down from 61 days in March. April saw 28 new properties listed for sale, and 28 properties go under contract. With new listings down 22% over the previous month and an almost 22% increase over March of properties going under contract, Falls Church City inventory is pretty tight. In April, the average home in Falls Church sold for 100.7% of the original list price, and the median home sales price increased 33.5% to $807,500. – Takeaway: Home sellers in Falls Church City should experience a strong market through the Spring. Buyers should be prepared to make an offer on a property as soon as possible and be willing to pay the listing price.
Sales in Fairfax County make up about 75% of the sales throughout Northern Virginia. As a result, Fairfax County drives the overall regional trends. The number of sales that closed in April 2017 increased 15.5% from March. Meanwhile, the number of new listings was down 7% and pending sales were down 4%. The number of days on the market also decreased from an average of 53 days in March to an average of 37 days in April. More than half of the homes that sold in April were on the market for less than ten days. The median home sales price also increased 1.6% from March and 5.4% from April 2016. – Takeaway: All of these trends indicate a strengthening market for home sellers throughout Fairfax County.
The market for condos and townhouses in Northern Virginia is strongest in Loudoun County. Prices for this market segment are up 8-9% from the previous year in Loudoun County even though most other markets in Northern Virginia experienced decreasing condo prices. As with other markets in the region, the number of closed sales increased by over 28% in April. New listings were down over 10%, and about 70% of the listings sold in under 20 days. – Takeaway: Buyers should expect continuing competitive market conditions as the average sales price increased by almost 8%, and the average buyer paid 99% of the original list price.
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