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Thursday, December 1, 2022
ArlingtonData: Buyers still willing to pay top dollar for Arlington homes

Data: Buyers still willing to pay top dollar for Arlington homes

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Home sales across Arlington are down, down, down, but that doesn’t mean buyers aren’t willing to open their checkbooks to get a property they really want, according to new data.

The average sales price of single-family homes that went to closing across the county in October rose by a double-digit figure even as sales were down by more than a third from a year ago, according to new data.

The 67 single-family transactions that were consummated last month saw an average sales price of $1,344,018, up 11.7 percent from a year ago, as 46 of the 67 went for more than $1 million and none changed hands for less than $600,000. That’s according to figures from MarketStats by ShowingTime based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

The condominium market also saw an overall increase in average prices, rising 2.7 percent to $475,196, but the attached-home market (an amalgam of condominiums, townhouses and rowhouses) was down 8.5 percent to $507,490.
Add up all the sales and the prices, and the total volume for the month stood at just over $150 million, down 31.7 percent from a year before.

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Homes that went to closing in October spent an average of 31 days on the market, unchanged from a year before, and garnered 97 percent of listing price, down from 97.8 percent a year ago.

Conventional mortgages represented the method of transacting sales in 132 cases, followed by cash (40) and VA-backed mortgages (12).

Sales across Northern Virginia (and the nation) have been impacted by higher interest rates that, coupled with sales prices that went through the roof during the COVID era, have made affordability a major challenge for some purchasers. But the local market’s stability has been aided by the fact that just as many prospective sellers as prospective buyers seem to be sitting out the current market; market inventory in October was more than 20 percent lower than a year before, propping up prices rather than, as was the case in the real-estate bubble of nearly 15 years ago, causing almost a freefall as desperate sellers attempted to unload their homes to any available buyer.

But with the local market having returned to its pre-COVID seasonal ebb-and-flow (stronger springtime and summer, cooler fall and winter), the real test of market conditions will begin around February, the starting point for the traditional home-buying season. If sellers show up but buyers don’t, things could get interesting – but, of course, if buyers show up and sellers don’t, things could also get interesting.

For now, however, expect the local market to continue cooling with the weather. Pending sales reported at the end of October stood about 40 percent lower than a year before, suggesting the sales total for the last two months of the year will remain somewhat anemic.

Figures represent most, but not all, home sales in the market. All October 2022 figures are preliminary and are subject to revision.

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