Both average and median home-sales prices were up, year over year, in double digits in May, as inventory struggled to keep up with demand.
The average sales price of all properties that changed hands for the month across the region stood at $745,323, up 16.3 percent from May 2020, according to figures reported June 15 by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR).
The figures are a reflection of a market that paused momentarily in the depths of the COVID crisis a year ago, but then rebounded and kept on building momentum.
“Simply put, May 2021 was on fire,” said Reggie Copeland, president-elect of NVAR and principal broker of C.R. Copeland Real Estate in Fairfax.
“Some of my buyers won a contract recently after writing 15 offers,” Copeland said. “We lost out in one community where offers had risen to $150K over the $800K asking price.”
Average prices were up largely consistently across the region: • In Falls Church, the average sales price of $964,968 was up 13.4 percent from a year before. • The average sales price stood at $855,715 in Arlington, up 17.6 percent. • The average sales price of $710,599 was up 15.9 percent in Alexandria. • The average sales price of $732,472 in Fairfax County was up 16.3 percent. • The average sales price stood at $673,458 in the city of Fairfax, up 12.1 percent.
Median sales prices ranged from $580,000 in Alexandria to $862,500 in Falls Church. While year-over-year growth in median prices tended to be lower than growth in average prices, it still was up by double-digits in all but the relatively small cities of Falls Church and Fairfax.
Sales themselves also were up, rising a whopping 64 percent to stand at 2,656 for the region in May. But a year-over-year comparison isn’t quite fair, as the spring of 2020 represented the apogee of the COVID health scare and nadir of the resulting economic lockdown imposed on the region.
This spring, some buyers are getting so desirous of getting a property that they are going to extreme, and often creative, lengths.
“I was told that one of the other buyers who lost out [on a property] started knocking on doors asking if owners were willing to sell their homes,” Copeland said. “He made an offer one homeowner couldn’t resist – a homeowner who wasn’t thinking of selling receives an offer so high that even though they weren’t listed, they ended up selling their home and retiring sooner than expected.”
At the end of the month, there were about 2,100 active listings across the Northern Virginia market, representing just a 0.82-month’s supply of inventory at current sales rates, down from 1.2-months’ worth a year before. That’s a decidedly pro-seller environment; to get back into balance, there needs to be three to four months’ inventory available for purchasers to peruse.
As a result of the frenzy, homes have been moving from listing to ratified sales contract in an average of 13 days, about one-third less time than the 19-day average over the past five years.
For the first five months of the year, the average sales price of $691,334 was up from $649,725, an increase of 6.4 percent. Counting up the higher sales and higher prices, the total sales volume for the January-to-May period was $7.008 billion, up 45.4 percent from $4.821 billion a year before.
For full data, see the Website at www.nvar.com/marketstats.
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