2014 was the “Year of Micromarkets”.
Check out our blog and you’ll find year-end statistics for both the larger macromarket of the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as the counties of Fairfax, Loudoun & Arlington. Along with that, you’ll find stats for the various cities and towns in Northern VA. It used to be that looking at statistics city by city was often enough to arm you with most of the information you might need to understand the market – whether on the buy side or sell side. But that is no longer the case. (So when you hear the national news headlines about real estate – don’t listen! It’s like listening to the weather forecast in Phoenix when you’re trying to figure out what to wear in McLean.)
Within each county and city, there is a whole other story being told – market by market by market. Let’s take Loudoun County for example. Average days on market in Loudoun was 44 days. The average home sold for 97.5% of original list price. If you’re a buyer, you might draw the conclusion that you can “get a deal” or at least that you can negotiate some off the list price. On some homes, that might be the case. (In fact, that was the case for Buyers represented by The Belt Team. Our buyers only paid on average 93.8% of list price.) But that would not be representative of the entire market.
If you look at the statistics further, you’ll find that last year, 37% of homes in Loudoun sold in 10 days or less. Buyers of those homes often competed and came prepared to pay over list price. In fact, the average paid was just over 100% of list price. This micromarket was seen primarily in the $400’s and below. Homes that were listed over $900K saw a different market. Average days on market was 121 days (4 months!). And homes sold for 92.9% of list price.
The moral of the story of 2014 (and going forward in 2015) is that you MUST get the detailed, hyperlocal info you need to make decisions on the very specific micromarket where you’re looking to buy or sell. It’s a vital part of setting your strategy for success – whether you’re buying or selling. The average agent (and even you) have access to some of this data through normal channels – either online, through the MLS, public tax records, etc. But if you really want to get the most when selling your home (or prevail as a buyer in a market where inventory is low – which it is all over Northern VA) – it’s imperative that you work with Realtors (like The Belt Team) who not only have the free info online and in the MLS, but who pay premium dollars for the most detailed and up-to-date data available. We are your local enconomists. And this data gives our clients a leg up.
So. 2015. Here’s what we see:
- Interest rates rising
- Prices rising slightly. (Note that last year’s prices rose, but not like they did in 2013. For example – in 2013, Fairfax County rose about 7%. In 2014, Fairfax County prices rose less than 2%.)
- Low inventory.
- Competing contracts in the lower price ranges.
- And the early bird will get the worm – both on the buyer side and the seller side.
If you would like an in-depth analysis of YOUR micromarket, call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a FREE consultation.