Think of the year as a car race with each month being a lap around the oval track. For 2008, we've finished 7 laps around the track and we've started on the 8th go-around. When predicting the future of the housing market, we need to do so from the safety and protection of the pit stop.
In auto racing, there's the safety or pace car, which competitors are not allowed to pass during a caution period, leading the field along at a pre-determined safe speed. For purposes of today's analysis, we'll use home sales in 2007 as the pace car to examine 2008.
On New Year's Day, January 1, 2008, I posted to my blog, How Many Homes Sold in 2007? How Many Will Sell in 2008? Will Yours Be One of Them? In that piece, I examined the number of homes that sold in Northern Virginia throughout 2007 by area. You no doubt hear a lot in the media about the real estate market. Are sales up for 2008? Down for 2008? Mixed? What's the real story?
Here's some cold hard numbers:
AREA # Sold in 2007 # Sold Jan-Jul 08 Predicted at Current Pace*
ALEXANDRIA CITY 2,207 1,046 1,793
ARLINGTON COUNTY 2,973 1,354 2,321
FAIRFAX COUNTY 13,293 7,711 13,218
FALLS CHURCH CITY 141 78 133
LOUDOUN COUNTY 4,963 3,038 5,208
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY 4,897 4,451 7,630
* Please note that predictions do not take into account seasonal changes in home sales pace.
While it appears that Alexandria and Arlington will have a significant decrease in number of home sales for 2008, Fairfax County and Falls Church City are basically holding steady for crossing the finish line in December.
Sales in Prince William County will likely lap those of 2007 in another month! Loudoun County home sales should surpass 2007's total by the end of the year.
What accounts for the feverish pace of 2008 home sales in Prince William County? Falling prices. Read Roller Coaster of Real Estate: Northern Virginia Home Prices are NOT in Freefall (except maybe in Prince William County).
Are you ready to stop being spectator and take up your pole position to buy or sell a home in Northern Virginia.
Here are some compiliations of useful articles that you should read while making your decision:
Let me help you get on pace to reach the finish line!
Contact Brian Block, REALTOR/Attorney: Licensed in Virginia & Washington D.C. (703) 626-0715. If you are interested in purchasing or selling a property in Northern Virginia including Arlington County, Alexandria City, Annandale, Burke, D.C., Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Lorton, McLean, Springfield, Vienna, Washington D.C., contact Brian today.
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