HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Before looking ahead, it's important to take a look back at real estate sales for 2008. At the start of 2008, inventory of homes on the market was very high and it certainly looked like home sales were going to be tough. What we ended up with is a mixed bag. In a few jurisdictions (Alexandria, Arlington) the volume of home sales was down significantly. Yet in other areas, like Loudoun County and especially Prince William County, sales of homes were brisk and far exceeded the number of homes sold in 2007.
Whether you are planning to sell your home in 2008 are are interested in purchasing a home this year (I know it's on some of your New Year's resolutions lists), it's necessary to understand some numbers -- the number of sales and the amount of inventory available.
How many homes sold in Northern Virginia in 2008?
% Change from 2007
ALEXANDRIA CITY 1,784 Homes Sold in 2008 -19.2%
ARLINGTON COUNTY 2,320 Homes Sold in 2008 -22.0%
FAIRFAX COUNTY 13,705 Homes Sold in 2008 + 3.0%
FALLS CHURCH CITY 130 Homes Sold in 2008 - 7.8%
LOUDOUN COUNTY 5,321 Homes Sold in 2008 +7.2%
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY 8,869 Homes Sold in 2008 +81.1%
Wow! Are we talking about 2008? The tough real estate market in 2008? What explains the gargantuan 81% increase in sales in Prince William County? It all comes down to price! Foreclosures, short sales, and otherwise low and lower prices made Prince William County deals hard to resist for homebuyers in 2008. Closer in to D.C., Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church were not hit as hard by the credit crunch/mortgage crisis and did not suffer the significant price drops of the further out suburbs. As a result, sales were down significantly during the 2008 real estate market.
How many Northern Virginia homes will sell in 2009? Pull out your crystal balls. There's a ton of variables this year and the experts and prognosticators vary widely on their predictions of a real estate recovery, the economy, and what effect low interest rates and the new presidential administration will have on the market.
As of the start of 2009, here are the inventories of resale homes listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service:
% Change from 1/1/08
ALEXANDRIA CITY 535 Homes Available -19.5%
ARLINGTON COUNTY 668 Homes Available - 0.9%
FAIRFAX COUNTY 4,466 Homes Available -23.9%
FALLS CHURCH CITY 51 Homes Available +6.3%
LOUDOUN COUNTY 1,814 Homes Available -35.3%
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY 2,585 Homes Available -45.7%
Overall, inventory numbers are way down from what they were one year ago today. This could be very good news if you are planning to sell your home this year. If 2009 home sales continue at the 2008 pace, some jurisdictions currently have just around 3 months of inventory supply! What a change from January 2008 when there were almost as many homes on the market in Prince William County as sold in the entire previous year!
IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO NORTHERN VIRGINIA BUYERS AND SELLERS:
You can't control the market. You can't control the prices or the number of sales.
The market is changing.
2009 IS THE TIME to get expert advice, a skilled negotiator, and a savvy real estate broker who knows how to navigate this market to help you with your real estate goals.
Thank you for reading my blog post. If you like what you’ve read, then please: