Home sales and median sales prices were up modestly in Arlington last month compared to a year before, but – because of a quirk – total sales volume for the month was down more than 21 percent during the same period.
To address the quirk first: January 2020 saw a number of very high-ticket home sales in Arlington, which skewed average sales prices and boosted total sales volume to a huge-for-January $142.4 million. So that’s what the January 2021 market is competing against, price-wise.
And now, back to the data.
Total home sales this January across the county stood at 156, up 6.9 percent from the 146 transactions reported in January 2020, according to figures reported Feb. 12 by RealEstate Business Intelligence, based on data from MarketStats by ShowingTime.
The median sales price of all homes that sold during the month also rose, growing 2.7 percent to an even $600,000.
The average sales price, however, was down 26.4 percent to $713,514, owing largely to a 44-percent drop in average sales price for single-family homes when compared to the off-the-charts $2,073,329 reported in January 2020.
(Back then, the Sun Gazette did ask RealEstate Business Intelligence to double-check that the huge average sales price, in an effort to ensure it wasn’t a math error, and received confirmation that it was due to a number of high-end home sales.)
While the average single-family price was off more than 40 percent, it still was exceptionally healthy, standing at $1,162,589 for the month. The average sales price of attached homes, such as townhouses, was up 4.6 percent to $531,456, while the average sales price of condominiums was up 4.4 percent to $487,561.
A total of 35 properties changed hands for more than $1 million during the month.
Add it all up, and total volume for the Arlington market in January was $112.08 million.
Homes that went to closing in January took 38 days, on average, to move from listing to ratified sales contract, off from a brisker 32-day pace a year before, and garnered 97.6 percent of listing price, down from 98.6 percent.
The data, when parsed all together, suggest that the Arlington market may be seeing some easing of the red-hot pace of sales that had occurred during the tail end of 2020.
That could be the result of more properties coming onto the market, removing the sense of urgency some buyers feel.
At the end of January, there were 399 homes on the market across the county, up 140 percent from the 166 of a year before. During the month, 315 property owners listed their homes for sale, up 50 percent from 209 a year before.
On the other hand, January’s modest growth simply could have been the market taking a well-earned breather before heading yet further upward.
Evidence for that? The number of pending-home sales in the pipeline in December stood at 281, up 80 percent from a year before. Those pendings usually translate into completed transactions a month or two later.
Of homes that went to closing in January, deals were consummated via conventional financing in 115 cases, cash in 26 and VA-backed loans in seven.
Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market. All figures are preliminary, and are subject to revisions.