It wasn’t just the thermometer that recorded an early-winter chill in December. Arlington real estate market was a tad frigid, too.
A significant dip in year-over-year sales, coupled with largely flat average sales prices, sent the total sales volume down 16.6 percent in December, according to data reported Jan. 10 by RealEstate Business Intelligence, based on data from Bright MLS.
The down month may simply be a case of the Arlington market catching its breath after a relatively strong 2017. As the market turns a page to the new year, prospective buyers will see fewer homes on the market, which is likely to keep prices propped up, although short-term data suggest the first few months of the year could also be soft.
A total of 188 properties went to closing across the county in December, down 16.1 percent from the 224 transactions reported a year before, while the average sales price of $646,311 was down a fraction of a percent from December 2016.
Average prices were down in two of the three segments of the market:
• The average sales price of $939,256 in the single-family sector dropped 3.4 percent.
• The average sales price of $495,114 in the attached (townhouse/rowhouse) sector was up 1.4 percent.
• The average sales price of $433,758 in the condominium market was down 2.5 percent.
A total of 23 properties went to closing for more than $1 million countywide.
Add up the sales and prices, and total sales volume for the month stood at $121.5 million, off 16.6 percent from a year before.
Homes that went to closing in December had spent an average of 60 days between listing and ratified sales contract. That’s high compared to most other times of year, but is within historic norms and was improved from the 66 days required for homes selling in December 2016.
Homes that sold in December garnered 96.6 percent of listing price, down slightly from the 96.8 percent 12 months before.
Of homes that went to closing, conventional mortgages represented the method of transacting sales in 138 cases, followed by cash (27).
At the end of the month, there were 351 properties on the market, down 12 percent from the 399 homes available for perusal a year before.
Where is the market headed? The number of homes under contract, and pending sales reported in December, were down from a year before, suggesting there could be some softness before the spring buying season kicks in.
Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market. All figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision.