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FairfaxReal EstateRegional homes market cooling, but nowhere near cool

Regional homes market cooling, but nowhere near cool

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After a year in which the local real-estate market was turned higgledy-piggledy – first shut down briefly by COVID, then roaring back to life with a vengeance – it appears to be settling back into a more normal seasonality.

And that means August slowed compared to July, although sales and prices remained higher than a year before.

A total of 7,123 properties went toclosing in August across the D.C. core, according to figures reported Sept. 13 by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing data from Bright MLS. That’s up 1.2 percent from a year before.
(The Sun Gazette used to call this report the “inner D.C. core,” but Bright MLS has started adding outer-suburb localities to the mix, including Loudoun County in Virginia and Frederick County in Maryland.)

Year-over-year sales were up in seven of the 10 jurisdictions, with declines posted in the District of Columbia, Alexandria and Falls Church. Compared to August 2019 (pre-COVID), sales were up 12 percent and increased in every jurisdiction except the city of Fairfax.

The median sales price of all properties that went to closing during the month – $536,800 – was up 6.3 percent year-over-year regionally, although the inner suburbs of Alexandria and Arlington each posted a decline. But sales prices regionally dropped 2 percent compared to July, while Fairfax County showed a 5-percent month-over-month drop.

Pending sales seem to confirm a cooling, with the 6,927 properties newly headed to closing regionally in August representing a dropoff of 6.1 percent. Bright MLS describes buyer demand as “moderate,” while it had been “high” during springtime. Home showings for the month were down 17 percent regionally, with larger declines shown in the District of Columbia, Loudoun, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.

But don’t go too overboard thinking things are approaching a state of near-collapse; in August, the market had a supply of homes totaling 1.13-months’ worth of sales, a remarkably pro-seller environment. (Augusts of 2014 and 2015 had months of supply totaling 3.7 and 3.6, a far more balanced market.)

Figures represent most, but not all, sales during the period. Figures for August 2021 are preliminary and are subject to revision.

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