The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® has issued it's report on September 2012 home sales activity for Northern Virginia - including Fairfax and Arlington counties, the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church and the towns of Vienna, Herndon and Clifton.
A total of 1,411 homes sold in September 2012, a 9 percent increase above September 2011 home sales of 1,293.
Active listings decreased by almost 27 percent from last year, with 3,570 homes listed in September, compared with 4,871 homes available in September 2011. The average days on market (DOM) for homes in September 2012 also decreased by about 27 percent to 45 days, compared with 62 days in September 2011. This indicates a tightening sales market for likely purchasers and the potential for higher prices for sellers.
Sales prices are virtually unchanged between September 2011 and September 2012. The average sales price in September decreased by just 1 percent from September 2011, to $498,694, compared with last September’s average of $504,398. On the other hand, the median home sale price in Northern Virginia rose by about 1 percent in September to $430,000, compared with September 2011’s median price of $424,000.
The number of new pending home sales in Northern Virginia in September increased by about 10 percent to 1,563 compared with 1,425 new contracts pending in September 2011.
In Herndon there are only 15 town homes for sale at the moment priced from $144,500 to $578,899. There are 60 single family homes for sale priced from $315,900 to $6,000,000. In Reston there are 39 town homes priced from $239,900 to $985,000 and 32 single family homes priced from $419,000 to $3,999,000. These active listings include standard sales, short sales and foreclosures.
The Washington, D.C. area is something of a bubble, meaning that we don’t face the same realities that much of the rest of the country does. It’s not that we didn’t have a downturn, but not to the same degree as most of the rest of the nation. Jobs always remain fairly stable locally due to our proximity to Washington DC and Federal Government spending.
Are we out of the woods? This remains to be seen.
The biggest potential hit, to the tune of $5 billion state wide may come Jan. 1, 2013, from cross-the-board defense cuts included in the Budget Control Act, a process aso known as "sequestration."
If this actually occurs the Washington DC Metropolitan rea will be negatively impacted due to severe job cuts in defense and other overnment sectors. Can Sequestration be averted? If the recent presidential debates are any indicator, it seems that neither party wants this to happen, but we'll see come January.
In the meantime, consumer confidence increased in the Metro D.C. area in 2012 due to a low unemployment rate, good job growth, and rock-bottom interest rates. Home purchasers seem to feel confident and inventory is low which can cause prices to go up. I met with a home seller yesterday who would be affected by the sequestration if it takes place. She's planning to sell her home in Sterling and move to Reston to be closer to the new Metro. When asked if she was worried about losing her job she just shrugged and said "nah."
The election is coming in a few days.…Hurricane Sandy turned the East Coast upside down. Hang on to your hats folks - things are always interesting in Northern Virginia!