Lean Inventory for Northern Virginia Buyers Sparks Competition for Available Homes
From: the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®
With interest rates rising and the inventory of available homes diminishing, the pace of home sales in Northern Virginia has slowed compared to last year, said Lorraine Arora, the 2018 Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® Chairman of the Board and Weichert, Realtors® Fairfax regional managing broker. However, home values are holding, with the median price 7.37 percent above February 2017, at $500,000, and homes are selling at an average of 97.7% of the original listing price.
“National inventory constraints continued to challenge Northern Virginia buyers in February,” said Rob Wittman, principal broker with Redfin in Falls Church. “Particularly noticeable is that the months of supply continue to fall – an indication that buyers are snatching up the available homes for sale faster than sellers can place their properties on the market.
“Further highlighting the demand for homes is the shortened days on market and the more than 1 in 8 transactions that occur where the buyer uses cash to purchase the home. Stiff competition from other buyers highlights the need for creativity to find properties and prepare the most competitive offer,” Wittman said. “The spring market is just getting started. Prospective sellers can be confident that there are eager buyers in Northern Virginia,” Wittman added.
Consistent with seasonal market trends, Arora explained that sales are outpacing our January numbers, but still reflect reduced wintertime activity.
“There were 1,143 homes sold in our NVAR footprint in February, which is about 4 percent more than the 1,097 homes sold in January,” Arora said. “The Federal Reserve hinted that a rise in short-term interest rates may occur at its March meeting, based on a strong economic outlook. Even though interest rates are still at historic lows, such a move could continue to keep home sales in check.
“We also need to keep in mind that as we approach the April tax-filing deadline, prospective buyers and sellers may be considering how changes to federal income tax laws might affect their future housing decisions,” Arora added. “And that impact is still not clear to many people,” she said.
According to Ryan T. Conrad, NVAR CEO, “Northern Virginia continues to be a stable market for real estate. Although year-over-year numbers for February show a slowing of home sale activity in our local footprint, the numbers overall are positive when compared with a five-year February average.
“Our 2,228 new February listings marked a 2.7 percent increase above the 2,170 five-year average number of listings, and our NVAR region’s 1,143 February sales are about 2 percent above the five-year average of 1,119,” Conrad said.
February 2018 Regional Home Sales Compared to February 2017: Northern Virginia
The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® reports on February 2018 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 1,143 homes sold in February 2018, a 4.11 percent decrease below February 2017 home sales of 1,192.
Active listings decreased this month compared with 2017. Listings were down about 19 percent below last year, with 2,396 active listings in February, compared with 2,973 homes available in February 2017. The average days on market (DOM) for homes in February 2018 was 61 days, a decrease of about 9 percent compared to the 67 DOM for homes in February 2017.
The average home sale price rose slightly compared with last February, to $556,791. This is up less than 1 percent compared to February 2017, when the average price was $552,942.
The median sold price of homes this February, which was $500,000, rose by 7.37 percent compared to the median price of $465,700 in February 2017.
The 1,768 new pending home sales in Northern Virginia in February were 3.49 percent below the 1,832 contracts that were pending in February last year. Total pending sales in February were down by 7.55 percent, to 2,229, compared with 2,411 pending contracts in February 2017.