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FairfaxReal EstateData suggest Fairfax homes market is cooling

Data suggest Fairfax homes market is cooling

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Across the region, home-buyer interest cooled with the temperatures in November, with regions of the Sun Gazette coverage area seeing less demand and, in some cases, not enough properties for sale.

Meanwhile, the hottest areas across the D.C. metro region remained Arlington and Alexandria.

The T3 Home Demand Index, created by the Mid-Atlantic multiple-listing service Bright MLS, uses a variety of data points to settle on a monthly score for the Washington region’s overall homes market all the way down to the ZIP-code level.

In new data reported Dec. 13, the regional index figure stood at 97, in the “Steady” range but down from 127 a month before. Fairfax stood at 105, down from 147 a month before.


The decline suggests that many prospective purchasers have found homes during recent months, while others may have decided to hold back for a variety of reasons, from the general seasonality of the market to pricing getting out of hand.

“Demand fell for each type of home in November,” Bright MLS analysts said. “Higher-priced condos recorded the strongest demand. The higher-priced single-family segment posted the largest drop, but still recorded ‘Moderate’ demand.”

The factors used to compile the scores are activities that occur before the sales process transpires, so unlike monthly sales reports, the figures can be used as a forward-looking indicator. The baseline of 100 was in March after analysts looked at a year’s worth of data; there is no upper limit to how high a number can be reached.

Among all jurisdictions that make up the ranking, Arlington was the runaway winner with a countywide T3 index of 164, followed by Alexandria at 149. While higher than the rest of the region, those figures are down substantially from the astronomical heights of the preceding few months.

Rounding out the pack were Prince George’s County (106), the District of Columbia (98), Falls Church (95), Montgomery County (86), Loudoun County (80) and Frederick County (68).

Among ZIP codes in the Sun Gazette’s Fairfax coverage area, the only one to crack the “High” plateau for November was Vienna’s 22181 at 150. Other areas were in the “Slow” category: Dunn Loring 22027 (87), Vienna 22180 (83), Oakton 22124 (74) and McLean 22102 (also 74).

Three ZIPs were in the “Limited” category because there was not enough market activity for the month to gauge buyer interest: McLean 22101 (59), Vienna 22182 (54) and Great Falls 22066 (46).

(For full data, see the Website at www.homedemandindex.com.)

While the forward-looking index showed some slowing, backward-looking data painted a more robust picture.

Home sales across the D.C. region in November totaled 6,332, according to Bright MLS, up slightly from last year and well above totals from the pre-COVID month of November 2019. For Fairfax County, the increases were 9.1 percent and a whopping 44.1 percent, respectively.

Median home prices also were up, although November’s figure for Fairfax County ($593,000) was below its year-to-date figure ($640,000). That suggests a return to normal seasonality, as median sales prices generally are higher in spring and summer, lower at other times of year.

For the first 11 months of the year, home sales across Fairfax County are up 17.6 percent from 2020, a year that saw normalcy in the winter, a major decline in spring as COVID set in, then a resurgence for the last six months of the year. The year-to-date increase in Fairfax is above the 15.3-percent increase recorded for the region overall.

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