Despite inventory bump, local homes market still favors sellers | Real Estate
Home-sellers were the ones giving thanks across the local region in November, but this holiday season is bringing some reasons for joy to buyers, too.
A total of 1,908 residential properties went to closing last month, according to figures reported Dec. 16 by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR). That’s up a whopping 33.4 percent from the same month last year, as the Northern Virginia market continues to make up for time lost during the pandemic pandemonium of springtime.
Figures represent sales in Arlington and Fairfax counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church. Transactions were up in each jurisdiction, with the year-over-year increases ranging from 10 percent in Falls Church to 54 percent in Alexandria.
The average sales price of all homes that went to closing during the period stood at $685,445, up 9.5 percent. Increases were reported in every jurisdiction except Falls Church, which was down slightly; increases ranged from 6 percent in the city of Fairfax to 18.6 percent in Arlington.
That’s the good news for sellers. What’s the good new for those on the other side?
“Even though inventory is still low, buyers continued to see more opportunities to purchase, with an increase of 39 percent in new listings when compared to 2019,” said Nicholas Lagos, 2020 NVAR president and an associate broker with Century 21 New Millennium.
Arlington had a marked increase in active listings, with around 152 percent more homes on the market in November than the same time last year. The number of new November listings in Arlington County was about 68 percent higher than last year.
In Alexandria, there were about 93 percent more active listings last month compared with November 2019. New November listings in Alexandria were 53 percent higher than last year.
The average number of days on the market for homes in the NVAR region continues to remain well below the pace of sales in 2019. It took an average of 19 days for a home to move from listing to ratified sales contract in November, compared with 26 days last year.
“More buyers than sellers caused this reduced number of days on the market, which of course led to multiple offers on many homes,” said Reggie Copeland, NVAR’s secretary-treasurer and principal broker of CR Copeland Real Estate in Fairfax. “I personally wrote a total of seven different offers for one client in the $400K range before winning out the eighth offer during the brief Thanksgiving break.”
But the market is still not overly friendly to buyers, said NVAR CEO Ryan McLaughlin.
“While low interest rates certainly help buyers, we’re still experiencing a strong sellers’ market,” he said. “In November, our region had a contract ratio of 0.95 pending sales per active listing, compared with the five-year November average of 0.77. A higher contract ratio signifies a relative increase in contract activity compared to the number of available homes, which generally favors sellers.”
And where is the region headed? “With low interest rates expected to continue through next year, and combined with other favorable factors, the Northern Virginia market is anticipated to remain active and vibrant through year-end and into 2021,” Lagos said.
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