Buy Alexandria Real Estate: The Story is Inventory (or lack thereof)

Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Blog

The Story is Inventory (or lack thereof)

Inventory -- in real estate, it's a fancy way of saying how many homes are available for sale.  It's fancy because most real estate agents are used to talking in single syllable REALTOR-speak, to wit:

buy, sell, rent, sold, price, sale, home, house, etc.

As we approach 2010 (not the sci-fi sequel to 2001, but the year), it is clear when analyzing the Northern Virginia real estate market that The Story is Inventory, or more appropriately, the lack of inventory.

Take a look at some charts that vividly show you the picture of inventory in Northern Virginia, comparing today's numbers to those of 4 weeks ago, January 1, 2009, and January 1, 2008.  The graphs speak for themselves.

Alexandria Virginia Housing Inventory December 2009

Arlington Virginia Housing Inventory December 2009

Fairfax County Housing Inventory December 2009

Just to highlight, in Fairfax County, there is just under 50% as many homes available for sale today as there were on January 1st, 2009!

With many real estate listings set to expire on December 31, 2009 (2 days from now), I'm expecting that inventory numbers will be even lower as we enter the new year.

Currently there is approximately a 1.9 month supply of homes on the market when you combine these three Northern Virginia jurisdictions.

What does this mean? 

  • Demand for homes in the Northern Virginia and D.C. region has not dissipated.  With the growth of the federal government and our relatively stable (and best) job market in the country, people are relocating to the area.

  • The $8000 first time homebuyer tax credit and $6500 move-up tax credit available until April 30, 2010 will continue to fuel housing demand.

  • Unless inventory increases significantly, in 2010, you should expect to see 2004/2005 style bidding wars and the continued rebound from pricing lows.

  • If you are selling your home, there may be no better time than 2010 to get it sold fast (as long as you price it right and use a skilled REALTOR). 


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Comment balloon 8 commentsBrian Block • December 29 2009 12:14PM


Brian - these seems almost unbelievable to me ! Wow ! The government relo demand sure has affected the 'inventory' like no other place in the country !

Good luck to you in 2010, and I hope you get some of those bidding wars on your listings !

Cheers !

Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) over 8 years ago


When I read " Demand for homes in the Northern Virginia and D.C. region has not dissipated...." I felt uplifted!  

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 8 years ago

Our inventory levels are way down as well. Best of luck in 2010 Brian!

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 8 years ago

Brian, in our area, FINALLY inventory has shrunk, but in your area it is definitely into a Seller's market. Buyers need to be aware of this.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 8 years ago

Wow, Brian, those are some great numbers for sellers in your area!  No bidding wars here yet, but we always lag a little behind so I'm patiently waiting.

Posted by Lisa Heindel, New Orleans Real Estate Broker (Crescent City Living LLC) over 8 years ago

Love your charts! What's the potential for "shadow inventory" coming on in 2010 in your market?

Posted by Ann Heitland, Retired from Flagstaff Real Estate Sales (Retired from RE/MAX Peak Properties) over 8 years ago

I definitely see it tightening up in our area Brian.

Posted by Will Nesbitt, Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage. (Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria) over 8 years ago

Brian - that is indeed wonderful news!!! May all the inventory in all areas decrease!!! Happy 2010!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 8 years ago