Blame a lack of inventory, blame rising prices and interest rates, or credit the very hot home-sales market of early 2021, but home sales across Northern Virginia’s five major jurisdictions posted a cumulative 15.5 percent decline in the first six months of 2022 compared to a year before.
A total of 18,372 homes went to closing in the January-to-June time frame, down from 21,706 during the same period in 2021, according to figures from Bright MLS as analyzed by the Sun Gazette.
Year-over-year sales were down in each of the five jurisdictions:
• Sales declined 5.5 percent to 1,538 in Alexandria.
• Sales were down 9.4 percent to 1,594 in Arlington.
• Sales were off 15.8 percent to 8,156 in Fairfax County.
• Sales dropped 20.9 percent to 3,336 in Loudoun County.
• Sales dropped 15.2 percent to 3,748 in Prince William County.
The decline in large part is due to tight inventory conditions that gripped the local market for the early months of 2022, coupled with the exuberant sales pace that was found for the same period of 2021 as buyers were rushing to find homes after the first blast of COVID subsided.
In more recent months, some prospective buyers have opted out of the local market, having been spooked by a combination of higher prices and spiking interest rates – rates that while still not back up to historic norms, are much higher than they had been at the start of the year, cutting into the purchasing power of buyers and challenging sellers to rethink sales strategies.