Santa delivered many things in December, but a robust home-sales market in Fairfax County was not among them.
Don’t blame Saint Nick: The local market has returned to its normal seasonality, which means (far) fewer sales each December and January compared to the rest of the year.
A total of 765 properties changed hands across Fairfax County in December, down a whopping 43.3 percent from the 1,348 transactions a year before, according to figures from MarketStats by ShowingTime based on listing activity from Bright MLS.
While sales were down, average sales prices actually were up a bit in two of the three market segments:
• The average sales price for single-family homes stood at $1,009,366, up 0.8 percent.
• The average sales price for condominiums was $374,403, up 2.65 percent.
• The average price in the attached-home market (townhouses and condominiums) was down 1.5 percent to $462,614.
The average sales price for all properties stood at $722,733, up 2 percent from a year before.
A total of 129 properties went to closing for $1 million or more, including eight that sold above $2.5 million.
Add up the sales and prices, and the total dollar volume recorded in December was $558.94 million, down 41.4 percent from $954.38 million a year ago.
Homes the went to closing in December spent an average of 30 days from listing to ratified sales contract, up from 26 days a year before, and garnered 96.9 percent of original listing price, down from 99.3 percent.
Conventional mortgages represented the method of transacting deals in 497 cases, followed by cash (140) and VA-backed loans (73).
Because homes are staying on the market longer before finding a suitor, the number of active listings is up from a year ago. But that doesn’t mean buyers are excited about listing their homes at the moment, as the number of new listings coming to market in December was down 31 percent from a year before.
(That may, in part, be because sellers in December 2021 recognized that time was starting to run out in the hot-hot-hot market that had been in place since the summer of 2020. Those who got their homes ready for listing by early spring 2022 ended up, by and large, doing better than those whose homes didn’t come to market until late spring or early summer.)
Where is the market headed? Expect at least several more months of slides, as the number of pending sales in the pipeline at the end of December was down 38 percent from a year before.
Figures represent most, but not all, home sales during the period; December 2022 figures are preliminary and are subject to revision.