The Arlington homes market continues to zig when the broader Northern Virginia market zags, as January sales figures can attest.
While home sales across the region were down 14 percent from a year before in January, Arlington’s sales posted a 13.5-percent increase, according to new data.
Sales for the month totaled 177, up from 156 in January 2021, despite a constrained inventory, according to figures reported Feb. 11 by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing data from Bright MLS.
The average sales price of $757,534 for all properties that sold across Arlington in January was up 6.2 percent from $713,514, but that increase was concentrated in the single-family sector:
• The average sales price of single-family homes during the month was $1,294,642, up 11.4 percent.
• The sales price of attached homes was $534,097, up 0.5 percent.
• The sales price of condominiums was $477,365, down 2.1 percent.
A total of 40 properties went to closing for more than $1 million, including five for more than $2.5 million. Those high-priced sales helped skew the average single-family sales price upward for the month.
Add up the sales and prices, and total volume for January stood at $133.6 million, up 19.2 percent from a year before.
There are signs that, despite the burst of sales activity, seasonality has returned to the market. It took an average of 42 days for a home to go from listing to ratified sales contract, up from 38 a year before.
But the feeding frenzy seems largely unabated. A typical home sold for 98.5 percent of listing price; while not as high as the 100-percent-plus of last summer, it was an improvement from 97.6 percent a year before.
Conventional mortgages represented the method of transacting sales in 115 cases, followed by cash (42) and VA-backed loans (17).
Inventory remains the issue buyers and their agents have to contend with. The 232 properties on the market at the end of the month were down 42 percent from a year before. Unless additional housing stock comes to market as winter gives way to spring, buyers may find themselves battling with each other to win homes.
Where is the market headed? Pending sales across Arlington were down in January, meaning February’s sales totals may see year-over-year declines.
Figures represent most, but not all, home sales during the period. All figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision.
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An aside: Before any red alarms start blaring about the dropoff in regional (if not Arlington) home sales in January, it’s worth noting that the wintertime 2020-21 sales market had been remarkably robust, as buyers continued their efforts to find an abode in the aftermath of the first blast of COVID in the spring of 2020.
It appears that the market now has returned to more normal seasonality, with higher sales in spring and summer and lower totals in fall and winter.
Arlington’s rebound in the wake of COVID’s first blast was less than that in outer suburbs, so the higher year-over-year figures represent a community making up for lost time.