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Sunday, September 25, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Reality hits the Va. real-estate market

Editor’s Notebook: Reality hits the Va. real-estate market

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One go-to source for news, albeit anecdotal, of the state of Virginia’s housing market is the monthly “flash survey” of members of Virginia Realtors, which is conducted at the end of a month and reported at the start of the following one.

The August survey is now out, and it shows for the first time in the life of the survey, a majority of respondents – albeit a slim majority (51%) –believe that housing prices in the Old Dominion will be declining over the next quarter.

For months, even as it was clear the market was cooling (and as one who had a home on the market, didn’t I know it …), there was the general belief that prices would still rise, or at least stay stable, because of the dearth of inventory on the market.

While I don’t think many people are predicting a housing-price collapse, buyers may soon gain the upper hand on sellers, who have held it for so long.

At Mister Rogers might have put it: “Can you say ‘cyclical’, boys and girls?”

SPECIAL-ELECTION ALERT! SPECIAL-ELECTION ALERT! The decision by Del. Mark Keam (D-Vienna) to take a job in the Biden administration means a special election in the district, and yesterday we learned that the House Speaker had set a date of Jan. 10.

Theoretically, the special election could have been held in conjunction with the Nov. 8 general election, but boy-howdy, that would have compressed the time for candidates to run and get their names out. Going with early January, still in time for the winner to join the fun down in Richmond for the session, seems reasonable.

Republicans used to have a relative lock on that district, but not so much since Keam’s ascendancy lo that decade and a half ago. (“Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis,” which those of you who took Latin will recognize, in somewhat bastardized English, as “the times change, and we must change with the times.”)

Given the tenor of Fairfax County at the moment, Republicans may be practicing the Dusty Springfield school of politics (one of her big hits was “Wishin’ and Hopin’”) if they expect to bring off a surprise victory here. But special elections are weird things, and this one will be further roiled by reaction to how the midterm election pans out in November.
Stay tuned ….

ABOUT $4.75 TOO MUCH: Wednesday’s Washington Post cost a whopping $5 at newsstands, because it included a special section highlighting the upcoming season for whatever name the local area’s NFL team has today.

(Semi-related: Happy birthday a week or so back to Hall-of-Famer Sonny Jurgensen at 88. Sonny, for those who have been around a while, was a great broadcaster, too. Fun fact: His real first name is Christian!)

– Scott McCaffrey

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