Northern Virginia’s home-buyers are putting their properties on the market at a strong clip, but the inventory continues to be overwhelmed by buyer demand, according to new data.
“Buyers are competing intensely for new listings,” said Derrick Swaak, partner and managing broker with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty in McLean and 2021 president of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR).
“The fierce residential real estate market in Northern Virginia has continued to roar into May, as April dollar sales volume was up over 50 percent versus the same month last year,” Swaak said in parsing the April sales figures.
A total of 2,476 properties went to closing across the inner Northern Virginia region last month, up 43.5 percent from a year ago. Sales data looks at Arlington and Fairfax counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church.
The boost of more than 40 percent is a little skewed, because the April 2020 homes market was beginning to show the impact of the COVID pandemic and resulting government lockdowns.
The market never stalled, though it did slow somewhat between mid-March and early June last year. But it came roaring back and has not abated.
The overall sales total for April stood at $1.7 billion, with both the average ($720,555) and median ($640,000) sales prices up more than 7 percent from a year before.
Year-over-year sales varied by jurisdiction: They were up a whopping 74 percent in Arlington, 44 percent in Alexandria, 40 percent in Fairfax County and 23 percent in the City of Fairfax, aided by increased inventory, but down in Falls Church, where the relatively small number of sales each month (16 in April) leads to sometimes big swings up and down.
April didn’t quite bring out the cicadas (that was left for this month), but did bring out homeowners who decided to test the market – the number of listings increased by a third from March, according to NVAR CEO Ryan McLaughlin.
“There is a misperception surrounding the lack of inventory,” Swaak said. “In reality, the number of new listings in April was up 76 percent compared to the same month last year. The lack of inventory is due to the brisk pace of sales,” Swaak explains.
“We are still seeing great demand for all types of residential housing, but particularly for single-family homes, both inside and outside the Beltway,” he said.
The average sales-price-to-list-price ratio was 102 percent in April. And all-cash buyers are not uncommon, being more than double the number of transactions in April compared to the same month last year.
And the data suggest the market will not be taking a breather any time soon.
“With 3,079 contracts pending at the end of April, representing an increase of 48 percent above last April, we can expect strong sales numbers again in May,” McLaughlin said.
“Buyers are competing intensely for new listings, particularly for moderately priced single-family homes,” Swaak said. “It is not unusual for new listings to attract a handful of offers within the first few days, many with waived contingencies and other perks, such a free post-closing rent-back for the seller,” Swaak said.
For more details, see the Website at www.nvar.com/marketstats.
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