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You’d think a glut of homes coming onto the market would cool the hot Arlington real-estate environment. But you’d be wrong.
Current inventory is about double what it was a year ago, and when adjusted for population is about three times what it is in neighboring Fairfax County. But people keep buying, and at least in the single-family segment of the market, prices keep on rising.
A total of 284 properties went to closing in March across Arlington, up 27 percent from the 224 transactions a year before, according to figures reported April 12 by RealEstate Business Intelligence, based on data from MarketStats by ShowingTime.
The average sales price of $769,131 was somewhat flat, rising just 1.8 percent from $755,323 a year before, but there was a wide variation in the three legs of the real-estate stool:
• The average sales price for single-family homes stood at $1,287,687, up 14.4 percent from a year before.
• The average sales price of attached homes, such as townhouses and rowhouses, stood at $495,913, down 11.7 percent.
• The average sales price of condominiums stood at $449,883, down 5.6 percent.
A total of 69 properties went to closing for more than $1 million during the month, including two for more than $2.5 million.
Add up the sales and prices, and the total sales volume for March reached $217,895,748, up just a touch over 30 percent from $167,584,209 a year ago.
Homes that went to closing in March spent an average of 27 days on the market from listing to ratified sales contract – up from 18 days a year ago – and garnered 99.5 percent of listing price, down from 100.6 percent a year before. Both numbers would suggest a market that is not as strong as Arlington’s appears to be.
Conventional mortgages represented the method of transacting March sales in 211 cases, followed by cash (43) and VA-backed loans (25).
When it comes to available inventory, it’s interesting to compare Arlington with Fairfax County:
• In Arlington, the number of homes on the market has more than doubled since a year before, from 203 to 410, representing a 1.44-month supply under current sales totals.
• In Fairfax County, the number of active listings is down nearly 38 percent from a year before, with homes available representing an inventory of less than 20 days.
(In case anyone thinks Arlington is awash in availability, keep in mind that two-months’ inventory is still generally considered tilted heavily toward sellers; it would take a doubling again of inventory to bring Arlington to a more balanced buyer-seller equilibrium, based on normal standards.)
Arlington’s sales spurt shows signs of intensifying, not slowing down, as the number of pending sales in the pipeline at the end of March was up 62 percent from a year before. Those pendings generally translate into consummated sales within a month or two.
Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market, all March 2021 figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision.
From this point forward, year-over-year comparisons are going to be somewhat irrelevant for coming months. Starting last April, the local real-estate market ducked for cover for two to three months as pandemic pandemonium took hold, and then roared back to life starting in June and July.