There’s been a slight increase in the average sales price, driven by low inventory and escalations from multiple bids. Competition is tight for many homes, especially entry level homes. If you're in the market to move from your entry level home, your home is in big demand.
Number of Units Sold
RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI), the research branch of the local multiple-listing service, reports that year-to-date through August, the NVAR* region units sold totaled 15,149 homes, up 4.01% from the 14,565 transactions recorded for the same period in 2015. PWAR** year-to-date units sold increase was markedly sharper, rising 6.61% from 5,399 to 5,756.
Sold Dollar Volume
NVAR: Up 4.04% - (2016) $8,485,649,762 vs. (2015) $8,156,321,287
PWAR: Up 8.79% - (2016) $2,038,492,161 vs. (2015) $1,873,867,520
Avg. Sales Price to Avg. Original Listing Price Ratio
This is the relationship between the asking price meets the closed sale price. A 100% ratio indicates both prices were the same. This figure was fairly stagnant. In the PWAR region the ration so far is 0.18%, 97.5% up from 97.4%. NVAR's is flat at 97.0%.
*(NVAR) Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS® covers Arlington & Fairfax Counties; cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax; and towns of Vienna, Herndon and Clifton.
**(PWAR) Prince William Association of REALTORS® reports figures for Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park
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A Closer Look
Zooming in on the region, The Washington Post reports the average sales prices in Arlington is up 0.22 percent to $638,166 and in Fairfax County it's up 0.27 percent to $546,857. This by no means represents gangbuster growth - but nonetheless, they are upward trends. There are places in the region, where the sales prices have declined: Loudoun County's average sales price is down 0.17 percent to $479,788, and in the city of Alexandria the average sales price, year-to-date, is down 1.52 percent to $536,043.
Going even more granular, Gainesville in Prince William County saw it's Sold Dollar Volume rise 18.20% as units sold spiked 14.68% from 470 homes year-to-date in 2015 to 539 homes so far this year.
Hungry Buyers Don't Have Enough to Bite on
Area employment is high and mortgage rates are low making homeownership easier for first-time home buyers, millennials radiating out from DC into the suburbs, and house hunters seeking a larger home. With these favorable market conditions you'd expect a hot market with robust transaction numbers, right? Well, that's not the case because of a serious lack of available homes.
Northern Virginia, especially the desirable areas closest to DC, has a considerable lack of new home construction projects. And, with home owners staying put, buyers have less existing inventory to choose from. In this environment, sellers can demand higher listing prices and orchestrate bidding wars. Buyers in the 'middle' of the market, or the $700-850K price point, are especially squeezed.
“While low interest rates remain encouraging, our biggest challenge continues to be our local market’s lean inventory,” said Virgil Frizzell, NVAR Chairman of the Board. “This makes for a competitive marketplace when bidding on entry level homes for millennials who are ready to commit.” ~ Virgil Frizzell, NVAR Chairman of the Board, recent media statement