The typical seller of a Fairfax County single-family home probably would have done best by finding a buyer in late spring, but condo owners can still cash in for top dollar if they hurry, according to new housing-price projections.
The median single-family home-sales price in Fairfax County at the end of the year is expected to be about 5.5 percent lower that in the heat of summer, as the market continues to rebound to normal seasonality after COVID.
In its recently release mid-year forecast, the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) and Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University are projecting a median sales price for single-family homes in Fairfax of $841,745 in December, down from $891,000 in May, which is expected to be the peak month for home prices in the county for 2022.
But don’t feel too bad for sellers who missed out on the earlier frenzy; the guesstimate for December’s median sales price is still up 5 percent from where prices stood a year before.
And having a decline from late spring to the end of the year is not, necessarily, an indication that the homes market is going to be in rough shape. Such seasonality, at least in the pre-pandemic era, was the norm.
The market for single-family homes in Fairfax County remains “good, not overheated,” the analysis suggested.
Projections for the townhouse segment in Fairfax County anticipate a median sales price of $594,187 in December, up 13.4 percent year-over-year but down slightly from the median $601,085 that is expected for August. And in the condominium sector, the high point of the year is expected to be September, with a median sales price of $347,320 before descending ever so slightly to $347,170 by the end of the year – a figure up 10.2 percent from a year before.
(Interestingly, while the condo market is peaking later in the year in Fairfax, it was an early bloomer in neighboring Arlington, where it had its projected high point back in December and has been down since.)
Fairfax’s townhouse and condominium markets could benefit from those who had been hoping to purchase single-family homes but have been priced out by the double-whammy of higher prices and increased interest rates. On the other hand, some buyers at the lower end of the spectrum, who might earlier have turned to townhouses and condos, might be out of the picture entirely, having decided to sit on the sidelines for now – or continue their search in outer suburbs where home prices are lower.
Given the wild ride of the past two-and-almost-a-half years, it’s no surprise that crystal balls are a little cloudy when it comes to the future direction of the local real-estate market.
“It remains a complex market,” said Ryan McLaughlin, CEO of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.
“Even though our real-estate market is changing, it remains strong,” added Terry Clower, director of the Center for Regional Analysis.
While other regions of the country may be bracing for something of a correction in home values, the D.C. region probably has little to fear. The region remains buoyed as always by the federal government, and (as was the case in the run-up to the 2008-09 housing crash) prices have risen more modestly than in some areas of the country, which have seen boom times during the COVID era but may now have to give back some of the gains.