Home Sales Down Across The Board, What About Prices?

As professional Realtors, it’s our job to have a read on the housing market. We do this by taking the market’s temperature and by taking its pulse.

Northern VA Real Estate Temperature

So – What’s The Temperature?

“98.6”

That’s the exact number just about anyone can quote when you ask them what a normal temperature is. In real estate, we also like to know EXACT numbers.

Scroll down and you’ll find a year-over-year comparison between last year’s and this year’s home sales & home prices for each city in Northern VA. What you’ll see is that although each city varies in the exact number, the trend for the entire market is that the number of home sales is DOWN. Great Falls and Oakton lead the way with the largest home sale drop (44% and 36% down respectively). Burke & Springfield also had less home sales so far this year, but only dropped by 5% and 1%.

What About Prices?

Here we see a wide swing. Some areas have seen prices rise, while others have seen the average home price drop. Still other areas have remained flat. Dunn Loring leads the way with a 12.3% rise in price. However, with only 13 home sales so far this year, that number is probably less statistically accurate and more of an anomaly.

Chantilly and Vienna were the other two winners in largest price gain – with Chantilly prices rising 7% and Vienna right behind at 6.8%.

Quite a few areas (Alexandria, Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Centreville, Herndon, Springfield & Sterling) are seeing prices rise, but very moderately – in the 2-4% range.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have what most consider to be the primary “luxury markets” of Northern Virginia – McLean & Great Falls. Both of these markets have seen the average home price drop since last year. McLean prices are down 3.1% and Great Falls is down 1.6%. We also have several markets that are close to flat lining. Oakton, Fairfax, Falls Church & Reston have all seen a less than 2% rise in prices.

(Search Homes For Sale in Great Falls) (Search Homes For Sale in McLean)  (Search Homes For Sale in Oakton) (Search Homes For Sale in Vienna) (Search Homes For Sale in Ashburn) (Search Homes For Sale in Springfield) (Search Homes For Sale in Burke) (Search Homes For Sale in Dunn Loring) (Search Homes For Sale in Chantilly) (Search Homes For Sale in Alexandria) (Search Homes For Sale in Arlington) (Search Homes For Sale in Herndon) (Search Homes For Sale in Fairfax) (Search Homes For Sale in Falls Church) (Search Homes For Sale in Reston) (Search Homes For Sale in Sterling)

And What’s The Pulse?

Northern VA Real Estate Pulse

When the nurse takes your pulse, it’s your heart rate that’s being measured. So as professional Realtors, we also measure the heart rate of the market. How do we do this? We monitor the “anecdotal data” we gather from open house attendance, conversations with potential & actual buyers & sellers, info from our trusted lending & settlement partners, competitive contract situations & more. That’s why a real estate team that does so many sales is much more in tune with what’s happening in the market than a solo agent.

The heart rate in Northern VA remains healthy, but it has definitely changed over the past few months. While there are still pockets where homes sell in a few days, and even have multiple contract offers; there are many areas where homes are sitting on the market for months. Open house attendance is good, but there are not many opens that are just swarmed with people. Part of this is the seasonality of the market. But part of this may also be the psychology of the market. For a variety of intangible reasons, the market seems to have softened somewhat. And buyers are a bit more tentative.

BUYERS: Before you start looking for a home, ask your Realtor to update you on YOUR market numbers . Define your market by price range and city, maybe even school district, zip code, bedrooms, acreage – whatever things are important to you. This will help you approach the market more intelligently in terms of whether you can make a low ball offer or whether you may still have to compete and pay over asking price.

SELLERS: Pricing your home to the market is the MOST important thing you can do to avoid sitting on the market for months. (Condition is second.) Many Sellers think testing the market is ok. In some cases, that strategy might work. But in most cases, all it does is lower the eventual price your home sells for and prolongs your carrying costs of the home. Statistics from the National Association of Realtors show the longer a home is on the market, the lower the price it will sell for. If you have priced the home “too low”, the market will respond accordingly and you’ll get multiple offers that bid the price back up to the max the market will bear.

Call (703) 242-3975 if you would like a zip code, school district or neighborhood analysis.

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The Belt Team’s Mission Statement is “Changing Lives For The Better” – if it’s time to change YOURS, call (703) 242-3975 or email The Belt Team and let us know how we can help! (The Belt Team is ranked in Top Teams in the State of VA – out of 30,000 Realtors).

Statistics below per MRIS – Jan 1 to July 31.

Northern VA 2013 Sales 2014 Sales Yr Over Yr Avg SP 2013 Avg SP 2014 Yr Over Yr
Alexandria 3122 2869 -8% $485,653 $500,383 3%
Arlington 1807 1644 -9% $599,888 $621,221 3.6%
Ashburn 1069 911 -15% $482,263 $495,125 2.7%
Burke 377 357 -5% $438,739 $447,383 2.0%
Centreville 638 567 -11% $386,947 $395,292 2.2%
Chantilly 513 434 -15% $449,341 $480,806 7.0%
Dunn Loring 17 13 -24% $793,618 $891,538 12.3%
Fairfax 1365 1163 -15% $494,691 $502,509 1.6%
Falls Church 941 801 -15% $504,457 $510,076 1.1%
Great Falls 177 100 -44% $1,217,869 $1,198,601 -1.6%
Herndon 525 460 -12% $469,813 $484,617 3.2%
McLean 471 418 -11% $1,082,324 $1,049,266 -3.1%
Oakton 247 159 -36% $663,576 $664,913 0.2%
Reston 732 626 -14% $457,445 $465,474 1.8%
Springfield 776 772 -1% $432,298 $446,459 3.3%
Sterling 737 676 -8% $378,760 $393,913 4.0%
Vienna 530 483 -9% $744,413 $794,770 6.8%

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