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Home sales across Fairfax County were down about one-fifth in April from a year before as the impacts of COVID-19 made their presence felt. But average sales prices not just held steady, but advanced, according to new data.

A total of 1,271 properties went to closing last month countywide, down 20.4 percent from 1,596 in April 2019, according to figures reported May 12 by MarketStats by ShowingTime.

Despite the decline, the tight inventory of properties on the market helped keep prices up, with the average sales price of all properties that went to closing during the month rising 8.4 percent to $651,153.

Average-price increases were found in all three legs of the market, with single-family prices rising to an average of $840,718, up 6.8 percent; attached properties (townhouses and rowhouses) rising 9.5 percent to $444,099; and condominiums up 3.2 percent to $320,101.

Add it all up, and the total sales volume for the month stood at $824.8 million, down about 14 percent from a year before.

Some of the market activity that culminated in completed transactions in April had been in the pipeline before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, but other sales represent activity that took place in the early stages of the public-health situation. Either way, prospective purchasers were willing to jump in without haggling, as homes that sold during the month garnered an average 100.5 percent of listing price, up from 99.7 percent a year before.

Of homes that sold during the month, conventional financing represented the method of consummating transactions in 931 cases, followed by VA-backed loans (196) and cash (74).

The number of days on the market between listing and ratified sales contract also showed strength, standing at a brisk 14 last month compared to 19 a year before.

A total of 116 properties changed hands for $1 million or more across the county, including nine for more than $2.5 million and two for more than $5 million.

Inventory, or rather the lack of same, has been a major story in the county real estate market for well over a year, and even the light month in sales could not put a major dent in it. The 1,561 properties on the market at the end of April represented a decline of nearly 23 percent from a year before.

Even in a best-case scenario, the local real-estate industry anticipates several months of shaky performance before the market rights itself. And that seems to be confirmed by a decline in pending sales in April, which dipped more than 28 percent. Those pendings give an inkling of where the market will be in a month or two.

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

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