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FairfaxReal EstateA few (OK, very few) sparks of life in local homes market

A few (OK, very few) sparks of life in local homes market

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It’s a significantly smaller slice of real estate than just a few months ago, but there still are portions of the Washington region where buyers continue to seek out homes in significant numbers despite the chill that has descended on the region and real-estate market.

In the Sun Gazette coverage area, two ZIP codes – 22202 and 22206, both in Arlington – remain in the “High” category for buyer interest in the latest “T3 Home-Demand Index,” a monthly survey produced by Bright MLS.

The index was created several years ago to look at indicators showing buyer interest, a forward-looking analysis as opposed to the backward-looking monthly home-sales reports.

And it has shown significant cooling, with the monthly score reported in early January of 56 (on a zero-to-infinity scale) down from 75 a month before and well below the peak of just under 160 recorded in April 2021.

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“Demand for higher-priced single-family homes fell the most, followed by higher-priced condos,” Bright MLS said – but despite falling, each segment continued to show among the highest interest level from prospective buyers.

The scorecard runs from 70-to-89 (Slow), 90-to-109 (Steady), 110-to-129 (Moderate) and 130-to-infinity (High). Anything below 70 represents too few homes on the market in a particular area to be able to adequately evaluate conditions.

All 10 jurisdictions covered in the report saw declines from December to January, most of them down by double-digits.

Arlington led the pack, at 85, followed by Alexandria at 82. Prince George’s County stands at 69, Fairfax County at 57 and the District of Columbia at 54.

Rounding out the remainder: the city of Fairfax scores 49, as does Montgomery County, while Falls Church reports in with 46, Frederick County at 44 and Loudoun County at 43.

“Challenging affordability conditions, amplified by higher mortgage rates, accounted for some of the decrease in buyer interest, along with the usual seasonal decline in market activity at the end of the year,” Bright MLS analysts said.

The aforementioned 22202 and 22206 ZIP codes were the only ones in the Sun Gazette coverage area to remain in the High category of buyers interest, at 152 and 140, respectively.

Two other Arlington ZIPs – 22205 (96) and 22201 (92) – were in the Steady category, while 22203 (84) and 22204 (76) ranked in the Slow category.

Arlington’s 22209 (68), 22207 (56) and 22213 (47) were in the Limited category, along with the entirety of the Sun Gazette’s Fairfax coverage area: 22180 in Vienna (59), 22181 in Vienna (55), 22124 in Oakton (37), 22102 in McLean (34), 22101 in McLean (27), 22182 in Vienna (22), 22066 in Great Falls (16) and, with a score of zero (likely because there were zero homes on the market at the time the snapshot was taken), Dunn Loring’s 22027.

Assuming that the normal (pre-COVID) seasonal ebb-and-flow of the local real-estate scene continues its comeback, those figures should start moving up as the spring market begins to supplant the winter doldrums in coming weeks.

For full details on the January report, see the Website at homedemandindex.com.

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