As we gear up for Thanksgiving and the holidays, the noticeable drop in available listings and slow-down in sales continues to drive the Northern Virginia markets. Many people don’t want to deal with the hassle of listing and keeping their homes in show-ready shape through the hectic holiday season. That hasn’t eased demand, though, as many buyers would love to be in a new home in time to celebrate the holidays.
As you can see from the chart above, closed and pending sales are running slightly ahead of last year, and relatively stable from last month. But while buyer demand is stable, there has been as sharp drop off month-over-month, in new and active listings.
The chart below shows the state of the current market. You can easily see how things have stabilized some since May, after the volatility earlier in the year. Some experts speculate that some of the smoothing out of month-over-month listings has been the result of homeowners holding their breaths, awaiting the outcome of the recent presidential election. Only time will tell what ultimate impact the changes in Washington and a Trump presidency could mean for the Northern Virginia housing market, as well as with local employers, government suppliers, and contractors.
I will just call out one measure, New Listings, which enjoyed a brief bump in September, only to fall back into negative territory with a sharp decline in October. This is likely again due to normal seasonal pressures, election uncertainty, and the coming holidays. We anticipate activity picking up again in January.
The Northern Virginia region overall has seen an uptick in both price and sales since the same period in 2015. There are some strong pockets of healthy price appreciating and sales that are driving these averages, while other areas are having mixed results.
If you were to only look at the month-to-month change, you would think that the NoVA region is subject to a volatile market. That’s why it’s important to review the month-to-month changes in the context of the year-over-year change as well. Long term trends give a clearer picture of the overall health of the market.
As you can see, from a yearly price standpoint, home prices have been fairly stable. Most the summer saw only around a 1% increase for the same period last year. We don’t get too concerned about the anomalies, like December 2015/January 2016, unless they become a sustained trend over several months.
Days on Market
Days on Market tells us how long, on average, that homes are listed before an offer is accepted. What’s notable about this chart is that it depicts CHANGE in the average days on market year over year. So, if there is no change, it’s represented as “0”. Everything on the chart, below zero (or negative territory) shows a DECREASE in median days on market from the previous year. While there have been fluctuations within that range, the entire last year has seen decreases in days on market.
What does this tell us? It tells us that there are plenty of buyers. If there weren’t enough buyers, then homes would be languishing longer on the market. It also tells us that buyers may continue to be challenged in finding the right home, because many are snapped up before a showing can be arranged. When taken in context with the Market Activity chart, you can see that the market continues to struggle with enough supply to meet demand.
As stated previously, we can’t really know what the future may bring in terms of a Trump presidency and its impact on the economics of the region and the real estate markets in general. However, the Fed is meeting in December, but there is uncertainty at this point over whether a rate hike could result from that meeting. If you are thinking about buying, selling, or refinancing, now may be a good time to think about making a move, before any changes to interest rates occur.
We are always here to help! If you are unsure of your home’s value, or if you are thinking about buying or selling, contact Jason at 703-298-7037 or SandersNoVA@gmail.com.