While 2011 is not quite half over, Memorial Day weekend typically represents a turning point in the year for most people. According to traditional fashion etiquette, you are now allowed to wear white clothing, shorts, and linen. Most people and communities open up their swimming pools in Northern Virginia over the Memorial Day weekend and there's the smell of outdoor barbeque in the air!
Memorial Day can also represent a turning point in the momentum of the real estate market. Spring & Summer are traditionally the busiest times for real estate sales, as it's easier to market a home in the beauty of the warm seasons than in the dead of winter, people prefer to move when it's warm, and the end of the school semester frees up time for people to look for homes and concentrate on real estate.
What's the picture in Northern Virginia today, just before the Memorial Day holiday?
INVENTORY IS UP! In fact, it's up over 31% since the beginning of the year, when there were only 6,182 homes on the market combining the inventories of Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Falls Church, Loudoun County, and Prince William County.
Today there are a total of 1,944 more Northern Virginia homes available! While the numbers of homes on the market is still much lower than in years past, the increase in inventory should delight potential buyers who will have more Northern Virginia homes to choose from in the coming months.
Here's a breakdown of homes for sale by jurisdiction:
ALEXANDRIA CITY 620 homes for sale
ARLINGTON COUNTY 734 homes for sale
FAIRFAX COUNTY 3,515 homes for sale
FALLS CHURCH CITY 51 homes for sale
LOUDOUN COUNTY 1,669 homes for sale
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY 1,537 homes for sale
An important factor to examine is absorption rates or how quickly homes are selling in each area. Taking the number of sales for the first almost 5 months of the year and dividing by 5 gives us the average monthly sales figures. Then taking the current inventory and dividing by that result provides a picture as to how many months of inventory are on the market. Six months of inventory is considered a balanced market. More than 6 months and it is a buyer's market, less than six months means it is a seller's market.
Here's the stats for each area:
ALEXANDRIA CITY 4.22 months supply
ARLINGTON COUNTY 4.49 months supply
FAIRFAX COUNTY 4.09 months supply
FALLS CHURCH CITY 4.90 months supply
LOUDOUN COUNTY 5.25 months supply
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY 3.81 months supply
As you can see, inventory supply/absorption rates are still quite low! Good news if you plan to sell your home this year.
All of this data is important whether you are deciding to sell your home or purchase your next home in Northern Virginia. These numbers represent an overall picture of the region. However, it is crucially important to have the data for each particular area of a county, and even drill down to specific neighborhoods. Real estate is hyperlocal -- this just cannot be emphasized enough.
If you are thinking about buying or selling a home in Northern Virginia, please feel free to contact me for specific information about your area of interest.
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