Inventory or lack thereof is the prime culprit, but total home sales for the first quarter of 2022 in Northern Virginia’s five largest jurisdictions were down a collective 10.1 percent from the same three-month period in 2021.
A total of 7,260 properties went to closing during the January-February-March period in the localities, based on a Sun Gazette analysis of data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime based on listing activity from Bright MLS.
The total includes sales in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the city of Alexandria. Sales were down in all five:
• In Fairfax County, the 3,198 transactions recorded in the quarter marked a 9.7-percent decline.
• In Prince William County, the 1,502 sales also represented a decline of 9.7 percent.
• In Loudoun County, sales totaled 1,247, down 16 percent.
• In Arlington, transactions were 676, down 2.5 percent.
• In Alexandria, sales totaled 646, down 7.3 percent.
Trying to compare the first quarter of 2022 with the same period in 2021 is a bit of an apples-to-oranges endeavor, as the local real-estate market had been knocked out of kilter with the arrival of COVID in the spring of 2020, then came roaring back starting that summer. But the comeback was uneven – the outer suburbs saw booming sales in late 2020 and early 2021, one of the reasons Loudoun County was off the highest percentage total in the new data.
The inner suburbs, however, saw less of an immediate comeback in late 2020 and early 2021, in part because of ongoing inventory shortfalls and in part because some inner-suburb residents seemed more skittish, public-health-wise, than those in the outer suburbs. As a result, sales figures in Arlington and Alexandria were more modest in the first part of 2021, making the current-quarter decline less significant than in the other three jurisdictions.
Across the Mid-Atlantic as a whole, there were 59,907 transactions during the January-February-March period, down 6 percent from a year before.
Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market. Current figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision.