Arlington home sales, January 2020

This home in the 300 block of North Garfield Street in Arlington currently is on the market, listed at $1,495,000 by Natalie U. Roy of Keller Williams Realty.

The opening month of the year will require something of an asterisk when it comes to Arlington’s real-estate sales.

And maybe a defibrillator, too.

Yes, the average sales price of $968,949 for all types of properties was up a heart-stopping 47 percent from a year before. And yes, the average sales price of single-family homes was up a jaw-dropping 117.8 percent (to $2.07 million) from the same period.

After giving you a chance to pick yourself up off the floor and start your heart ticking again, it’s worth noting that the numbers are correct but are skewed by a high-priced sale (described in data only as “more than $5 million”) that has bumped the averages into the stratosphere, if only briefly.

Otherwise, it was a pretty routine, if somewhat soft, start to the year for Arlington real estate. Total sales for January stood at 146, down 11.5 percent from 2019 (albeit in one of the more dormant periods of the sales year).

Figures were reported Feb. 11 by MarketStats by ShowingTime.

Leaving aside the average sales price this month in favor of median price – which will smooth out the data spike caused by the big-ticket home sale – the median price of all homes that went to closing during the month stood at $584,500, down 5 percent. Average sales prices for attached homes and condominiums, which were unaffected by the large sale, were up a hearty 11.9 percent (to $507,897) and 20.2 percent (to $467,050), respectively.

Add it all up, and the total sales volume for the month was $142.4 million, up 31 percent from a year before. A total of 27 transactions fetched $1 million or more.

Homes that went to closing in January spent 32 days on the market between listing and ratified sales contract, an improvement from the 42 days required a year before, and garnered 98.6 percent of listing price, up from 97.4 percent.

Conventional mortgages represented the method of transacting sales in 93 cases, followed by cash (37) and VA-backed loans.

The ongoing inventory crunch continues to impact the market, with the 166 properties available at the end of January representing a decline of nearly 18 percent from a year before.

Where is the market headed? New pending sales for January were up slightly but the overall pending-sale category remains well below 2019, suggesting the “Amazon effect” (people holding their properties off the market in hopes of greater riches later) may still be playing a significant role.

Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market. All figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision.

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