With 2,991 closed transactions, June represented the highest month for Northern Virginia home sales in 16 years – back to 2005, when the market was overheating into a frenzy that led to a crash just two years later.
Market forces, such as more conservative mortgage underwriting, may help to prevent a reoccurrence of that roller-coaster ride, with current conditions suggesting a slight cooling, but not a looming catastrophe.
“Activity was brisk at the beginning of June, but there was a noticeable dip by month-end,” said Ryan McLaughlin, CEO of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR), which released sales data for the month on July 13.
That cooling could be for a number of reasons – affordability issues starting to creep up; a lack of available inventory; or perhaps agents and prospective purchasers have just gone into summertime mentality, with vacations taking precedence.
Total sales during the month represented an increase of 48.4 percent from a year before, but that big boost up compares to a month (June 2020) when the local economy continued to reel from the initial impacts of COVID. House-hunting activity slowed considerably in April and May of 2020, which impacted sales figures through June before the market turned around.
That 2,991 figure represents transactions in Arlington and Fairfax counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church. Year-over-year sales were up in all jurisdictions, by rates ranging from 31 percent to 127 percent.
The average sales price of all homes that went to closing in June stood at $741,574, an increase of 14.6 percent from a year before. Increases were reported in all localities.
Derrick Swaak, partner/managing broker with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty in McLean and 2021 NVAR president, said “vigorous competition” among buyers remained a factor in early summer.
“While more homes came on the market in June, new listing inventory was gobbled up quickly, as demand continued to overwhelm supply‚“ Swaak said. “Homes continued to remain on the market for a very short period of time.” Total sales volume for the month was just under $2.2 billion, up nearly two-thirds from a year before.
Both anecdotal evidence and data suggest that the remainder of the summer will continue to be healthy, although perhaps not quite as solid as late spring.
“While buyers still face stiff competition for limited inventory, now sellers face competition, too – with summer travel plans,” said McLaughlin. “It seems that the pent-up demand for homes is no match for the desire to travel, now that restrictions have eased.”
Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market. Figures from 2021 are preliminary and are subject to revision.