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FairfaxFairfax outpaced by Philly in home-sale marathon

Fairfax outpaced by Philly in home-sale marathon

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Barring another jolt to the national economic system, it appears that Fairfax County will be playing bridesmaid to Philadelphia in 2021, in terms of home sales.

For the first quarter of the year, the number of residential properties going to closing stood at 4,172 in Philadelphia, 3,540 in Fairfax County, according to figures compiled by RealEstate Business Intelligence, based on data from MarketStats by ShowingTime.

Both saw year-over-year increases, with Philly’s sales up 18.6 percent and Fairfax’s up 17.5 percent.

Last year, Philadelphia led the home-sales marathon among the roughly 70 jurisdictions covered in the RealEstate Business Intelligence ranking.


Until, that is, Pennsylvania imposed more draconian lockdown restrictions in the wake of the COVID pandemic, and when some potential buyers shied away from urban areas like the City of Brotherly Love for suburban, exurban and rural options.

When the dust settled on the last day of 2020, Fairfax County had reported a total of 16,739 homes going to contract during the year, up 3.7 percent from 2019, while Philadelphia’s total of 16,317 was down 2 percent from 2019’s total.

But with vaccinations increasing and COVID restrictions easing to various degrees everywhere, it appears Philly is likely to return to the summit in 2021, with Fairfax second.

For the first three months of 2021, Philadelphia and Fairfax are followed in the Mid-Atlantic by Montgomery County, Md. (2,819 transactions, up 14.6 percent from a year before); Prince George’s County (2,591, up 15.2 percent); the city of Baltimore (2,507, up 25 percent); and Baltimore County (2,191, up 11 percent). Rounding out the top 10 were the District of Columbia (2,373, up 14.8 percent); Anne Arundel County (2,349, up 17.7 percent); Montgomery County, Pa. (2,229, up 11.2 percent); and Camden County, N.J. (1,767, up 10.6 percent).

Of the roughly 70 jurisdictions covered in the Mid-Atlantic report, only about two handfuls’ worth reported lower year-over-year sales for the first three months of the year. Most were relatively small jurisdictions where swings are more virulent, but three were relatively large: Bucks County, Pa. (1,459 sales, down 2.8 percent); Lancaster County, Pa. (1,189 sales, down 1.5 percent); and Carroll County, Md. (1,189, down 1.5 percent).

In Northern Virginia, the lone jurisdictions posting lower sales during the quarter were Fauquier County (253, down 7.7 percent) and Manassas Park (53, down 8.6 percent).

For the Mid-Atlantic region as a whole, sales for the first quarter totaled 63,726, up 14.8 percent from the first three months in 2020.

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