This is pretty interesting. Yes, overall sales in Northern Virginia jurisdiction that includes Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church City were up 10 percent from the same period last year. However, if you look at the details per individual county sales - based on the number of units sold - Fairfax and Alexandria carried the weight.
The number of homes sold in Fairfax up 21 percent from 704 to 853 units. Median prices off 24.20 percent from $405,000 to $307,000.
On the other hand, the number of homes sold in Arlington and Fairfax City were in negative teritorry. Arlington sales off by 34 percent from 137 to 90 units while Fairfax City off by 38 percent from 13 to 8 units.
Back to Northern Virginia home market. The good news is, for buyer that is: median home sales decline 22.53% from $410,000 to $318,000. Median is where the ratio 50/50 comes in - 50% sold above and 50% below the price. The lower the number tells you that lower priced sales drag down higher priced. Average sales price was off 20.70% from $479,320 to $380,077.
Check this out: average list price for solds decline 19.27 percent from $522,473 to $421,815. Even listing prices drop. Tell me if foreclosure sales don't drag down prices. Even builders know this for a fact. Foreclosure sales still sizzle and regular sales in the same hood are forced to compete head-to-head with foreclosures.
Because prices have become more affordable, the total number of units sold in Northern Virginia up 10. 11 percent from 969 to 1,067 units. We see in some pockets of hoods where you see a lot of foreclosure, prices have gone down below its 2003 level. Seriously. When's the last time you see condo prices in some pockets inside the beltway carry price tags of under $200's or even in the $100's range? Maybe not until this year..
As a comparison. Over in DC, the total number of homes sold declined 30 percent from 369 to 270 units. Prices have gone down a bit. The average price is down 6.78 percent while median is off 13 percent from $414,000 to $360,000.
OK. DC housing have a long way to go to reach bottom. As it stands right now, home inventory is over 18 months of supply! With this high level of supply, let's just say DC won't see bottom until next year, 2010.
How affordable are homes these day?
You see, based on the data above, prices in Prince William is almost half of what it was in 2005. Actually if we go back to 2004, the median for some hoods here have gone below 2004 level.
The declining trend signals buying opportunity. Inventory of resale homes in No. Va. is at 11.3 months, which is a 'strong' buyer market. However, realize that the lower the price range, the more competition you might have. Other buyers competing with you might force you to bid up your offer.
This is what I'm referring to: buyers who come in using conventional loans and cash.
One of the things banks look at is the financing. In terms of hierarchy, conventional loans or cash is above FHA loans. In case of multiple contracts, you have better chances of being selected by the bank than buyers with FHA. The stronger your finances, the better your chances. That's why many times you'll see as part of the requirement to make an offer, the bank would ask you to pre-qualify again for "second opinion" from their loan officer in addition to your pre-approval letter.. just to make sure you can come to closing.. (and they also get a chance to steal business from your lender).
The reality is this: since prices have dropped so much, be prepare to make multiple offers to get to buy a house. There's just too many competition among buyers in this market for homes under $400,000.
data: MRIS, NVAR