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The COVID-19 pandemic may (or may not) change home-buyer preferences, but for now, purchasers in the local area continue to be willing to pay a premium to live closer in to the District of Columbia

In fact, the average price per square foot for homes that sold in areas like Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church for the first four months of the year was more than double the average per-square-foot prices for those in outlying areas like Loudoun and Prince William counties.

Among Northern Virginia jurisdictions, Arlington’s median per-square-foot sales price of $455 in the January-February-March-April time frame was highest and, at 7.1 percent, also showed the largest year-over-year increase. Data recently were reported by MarketStats by ShowingTime.

Rounding out the region were Falls Church ($405, up 5.7 percent), Alexandria ($383, up 4.6 percent), Fairfax County ($289, up 4.3 percent), Loudoun County ($209, up 5.6 percent) and Prince William County ($173, up 3.6 percent).

Many of the transactions making up the data represent home sales that were in progress before the public-health pandemic hit, but recent data suggest that average prices across the region are holding up in the wake of the economic downturn, in part because of a lack of available inventory.

The District of Columbia led all local jurisdictions for the period; its average per-square-foot sales price of $491 was up 0.5 percent from a year before. In Maryland, Montgomery County posted an increase of 1.6 percent to $248, while Prince George’s County saw a 6.9-percent increase to $187.

Across the Mid-Atlantic region – which includes portions of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia – the average per-square-foot sales price of $182 for the four-month period was up 1.7 percent from the same point in 2019.

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