For the first time since November 2021, the average sales price of single-family homes that sold in August stood at less than a million dollars.
That’s seemingly yet another sign that (a) the local real-estate market is cooling and (b) it is returning to seasonal ebbs and flows that see higher sales (and prices) from late winter to mid-summer, with lesser amounts other times of year.
A total of 1,262 home transactions were consummated across Fairfax County in August, down 27 percent from 1,719 a year before, according to figures from MarketStats by ShowingTime based on listing activity from Bright MLS.
The big decline in sales was no great surprise, given the accumulating evidence that the buyer frenzy existing from the summer of 2020 to early spring of 2022 has abated. Sellers largely remain in command of the market, but buyers suddenly find themselves with less competition and more time to make their choices despite a still-tight inventory.
The $972,777 average single-family price recorded in August was up 2.6 percent from a year before, but broke a string of eight consecutive months, and nine out of the preceding 10, where average single-family prices were in the seven-figure arena:
• July: $1,043,000.
• June: $1,071,000.
• May: $1,051,000.
• April: $1,044,000.
• March: $1,119,000.
• February: $1,030,000.
• January: $1,062,000.
• December 2021: $1,001,000.
(The November 2021 figure of $937,000 came after October’s $1,034,000, the first time the single-family average price had surpassed a million dollars in Fairfax County.)
For August, the average sales price of an attached home – townhouses, rowhouses and condos – was $480,729, up 3.5 percent from a year before. The condo-only segment of the market reported an average sales price of $347,512, down 1.1 percent.
Add all those up, and the average overall sales price, for all types of homes, of $721,095 was up 3.7 percent.
A total of 199 properties closed at more than $1 million, including eight for more than $2.5 million.
Homes that went to closing in August spent an average of 18 days between listing and ratified sales contract, up a tick from 17 days a year before, and garnered 98.4 percent of listing price, down from 100.1 percent a year ago.
A total of 913 properties that sold in August were financed through conventional mortgages, with 161 buyers using cash and 136 taking out VA-backed loans.
While higher mortgage-interest rates and economic uncertainty have combined to move some prospective purchasers to the sidelines, current conditions also have led some prospective sellers to hold off, as well. As a result, inventory remains tight: The 1,527 properties on the Fairfax market at the end of August represented a decline of 15 percent from a year before.
Do not expect the softening market to stiffen up as fall arrives and begins its seasonal sashay toward winter. The number of pending sales on the market at the end of August (1,189) was down 31 percent from a year before, which suggests the cooling trends will continue at least through the start of the spring buying season early next year.
Figures represent most, but not all, home sales in the market. All August 2022 figures are preliminary and are subject to revision.