The ongoing decline in the number of homes for sale continued in August across Northern Virginia, with the steepest year-over-year contraction in August in Arlington County.
Inventory there fell 19 percent compared to the same month in 2017, while prices rose 4 percent to a median of $565,000. Homes across the Northern Virginia region sold quickly – staying on the market a median of 24 days in Prince William County to 33 days in Alexandria.
The number of homes sold was up 9 percent in Arlington County but fell 14 percent in Loudoun, where inventory also dropped 16 percent. The median price in Loudoun County was unchanged.
Inventory is reaching critically low levels in some areas, said Larry “Boomer” Foster, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. Price appreciation has been healthy, but it’s still outpacing wage growth. Interest rates are edging higher as well, which will further affect affordability for many buyers.
“In the next 12 months, we’ll see some places where inventory will go back in the right direction, but keep in mind that it’s coming back from being very depressed,” Foster said. “Through next year, you’re going to see prices continue to rise along with strong demand, and that will cause some affordability challenges.”
For those who are ready to purchase a home, now is a great time because interest rates and home prices are expected to continue to trend up, Foster said. Fall is also a good time for sellers, if they follow their agents’ advice and make their homes as appealing as possible to the most potential buyers.
“You might have to spend a little money as an owner to get your house ready, but listen to what your real estate agent tells you,” he said. “If the recommendation is to stage your house, then stage your house. That could be the difference between getting top price or having it take longer to sell.”
The Long & Foster Market Minute is an overview of market statistics based on residential real estate transactions for more than 500 local areas and neighborhoods and over 100 counties in eight states. The easy-to-read, easy-to-share reports include information about each area’s units sold, active inventory, median sale prices, list to sold price ratio, days on market and more.
Information included in this report is based on data supplied by Metropolitan Regional Information System and its member associations of Realtors, which are not responsible for its accuracy. The reports include residential real estate transactions within specific geographic regions, not just Long & Foster sales, and they do not reflect all activity in the marketplace. Information contained in this report is deemed reliable but not guaranteed, should be independently verified, and does not constitute an opinion of MRIS or Long & Foster Real Estate.