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If its trajectory continues on its recent path, the Northern Virginia real-estate market will see enough transactions to surpass the sales total of 2019, despite having the spring buying season wiped out due to COVID.

With 10 months’ worth of data in the record books, total sales across Northern Virginia stand at 18,875, down a fraction of a percent from the 18,956 recorded during the same period in 2019, according to figures reported by RealEstate Business Intelligence, based on data from MarketStats by ShowingTime.

That gives the market two months to add 3,196 transactions to the overall total, in order to surpass the 22,043 sales reported in all of 2019.

(Figures represent transactions reported in the counties of Arlington and Fairfax and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church, an area represented by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.)

Given that the two-county/three-city region has been making up for time lost in the spring, it seems plausible that 2020’s final figures could surpass those of 2019, which was the 17th highest sales total in Northern Virginia history.

Preliminary sales data for November will be out Dec. 11, with December and year-end data expected to be available the second week in January.

For the first 10 months of the year, it has been something of a mixed bag among the component jurisdictions:

• In Fairfax County, the 13,857 sales for the period are down 0.3 percent from a year before.

• In Alexandria, the 2,242 sales are up 3.2 percent.

• In Arlington, the 2,284 sales are down 4.2 percent.

• In the city of Fairfax, the 333 sales are up 0.3 percent.

• In Falls Church, the 159 sales are down 5.9 percent.

(As the figures show, Fairfax County is the big kahuna of local sales. The bump up shown by Alexandria has pushed it beyond Arlington – a community with significantly more population – in total number of sales for the year.)

In the 45 years between 1975 and 2019, the Northern Virginia real-estate markets surpassed 20,000 in annual sales a total of 22 times, according to an analysis of available data by the Sun Gazette.

Not surprisingly, those came in a number of waves, partially due to the continuing growth of the outer suburbs (the first year to surpass 20,000 was in 1978, when Fairfax County was rapidly developing) and partially due to health economic conditions (which frequently preceded an economic downturn).

Years of 20,000 sales or more were found in the following bunches: 1978-79; 1985-90; 1998-2006; and 2013-2019 (excepting 2014). The region has surpassed 30,000 sales only twice – 30,580 in 2003 and 32,735 in 2004 at the height of the mid-2000s housing bubble that came before the catastrophic 2008-09 recession.

[Sun Gazette Newspapers provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

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