Northern Virginia Market Update – November 2015

The November data just came out. The good news (again) is that we had the best November in a decade in terms of new contracts. Sales activity and new inventory also keep improving.

Closed sales increased by 5.4% from November last year. However, they decreased by 19.3% from October. This a seasonal drop and not too much of a concern yet.

Below I’ve pulled up various indicators over the past 3 years to see how the market has evolved.

Inventory Trends

New listings are down 40.4% from October. They’re also slightly down from November last year. This seasonal decrease is fairly typical.

Supply is down a bit at 2.67 months of inventory (compared to 3.3 in October).

I think this drop is due to the way the number is calculated. It takes the present amount of inventory, but then uses the sold activity from the preceding months. We’re coming off a period of higher activity, so the lower inventory at present skews the number down. However, we’ll be seeing less activity going forward, so things should balance out.

Real-estate indicators can be tricky sometimes.

The good news is that the months of inventory number has been trending higher over the past 3 years. Generally a 6-month supply is considered a “balanced” market, but in this area we’re usually happy with 3. The last time supply stood at 6 months was during the height of the housing crash in 2007.

Pricing Trends

The median sold price across the Northern Virginia market (including Arlington County, Alexandria City, Falls Church City, Fairfax City, and Fairfax County) increased $19,000 from the previous month to $480,000. This represents a 4.1% gain. It’s also 2.1% higher than November last year.

This finally broke the trend of lower prices which started in July. Let’s see how things shape out going forward.

Sellers remain in charge with homes selling at 97.3% of the initial list price. This is 0.4% lower than October. You could say things are better than 2013 when April, May and June all saw sellers getting 100% of list price. I’m not sure buyers should break out the champagne just yet. These are still very strong selling ratios.

Days on Market

The median days on market increased very slightly to 35 from October when it stood at 34. This is mostly unchanged from November last year too – 36 days.

So maybe the market is trying to reach a better balance between supply and demand. Let’s see how the winter months shake out.

Next Steps

Overall, this is still a great time to be a seller. However, buyers are getting very low interest rates, which helps offset a little the tight inventory conditions and subsequent competitive offers.

Stay tuned for next month’s Northern Virginia market update. If you need more specific data, I’ll be happy to pull it up for you, just contact me below:

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