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Home-buyer interest in Fairfax depends on location, location, location

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Home-buyer interest in Fairfax County eased slightly from April to May but remains relatively healthy – although how much so depends on the geographical area and type of property a buyer may be seeking.

The county retained a better-than-average place in the pack among 10 jurisdictions in the monthly Bright MLS T3 Home Demand Index.

The index uses real-time technology to evaluate buyer interest, including showing requests and listing views, to provide a forward-looking status update on the market.

The latest monthly report, covering activity in May, was issued June 13. It showed the Washington region’s activity level at 118, down from 126 a month before but still in the Moderate category.

Fairfax County stood at 136 – in the High level, albeit on the low end and down from 151 a month before.

The declines are perhaps no surprise, as a host of factors have led to a slight cooling in the market frenzy that had been in place for much of 2021 and well into 2022. Though still seen as a pro-seller environment, the local market has a bit more balance to it.

Anything above 130 on the T3 scale is considered a High level of activity, followed by Moderate (110 to 129), Steady (90 to 109), Slow (70 to 79) and Limited (under 70, largely due to a dearth of properties).

Among other jurisdictions in the region it was a case of haves and have-nots:

HIGH: Arlington led all comers with a score of 206, followed by Alexandria at a score of 193, the city of Fairfax at 136 (just like the county), Loudoun County 132 and Falls Church also 132.

MODERATE: None this month.

STEADY: The District of Columbia clocked in at 109, with Montgomery County at 108, Prince George’s County at 102 and Frederick County at 91.

(Frederick County, Md., several months ago was added to the list, although Prince William County, Va., is not included.)

The survey winnows down into the ZIP-code level, which saw a wide variation and some major changes when it came to the Sun Gazette coverage area.

Dunn Loring (22027), which had been the leader among Sun Gazette ZIPs in Fairfax in recent months, dropped from 209 in the May report to 89 in June. Taking its place at the top of the ranking was Vienna’s 22180, which grew from 168 in the May report to 175 in June.

Also in the High category were Vienna’s 22181 (153) and Oakton’s 22124 (135). There was then a wide gap; after Dunn Loring’s 89 came McLean’s 22102 (87) and its next-door neighbor 22101 (85). Both Vienna’s 22182 (66) and Great Falls’ 22066 (47) were in the Limited category, owing to a relatively small number of homes on the market.

Across the region, demand for lower-end condos and townhouses moved lower during the month, which may have been a case of rising prices and interest rates beginning to shut more people out of the market.

But those who had the cash were still engaged, as the strongest segment of the regional market for the month was that of upper-end single-family homes, which may at this point be seen as a better place to store cash than a tanking stock market.

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For full details, see the Website at homedemandindex.com.

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