A combination of challenging affordability and low inventory continue to tamp down somewhat on home-buyer enthusiasm in the local region, but many areas across Northern Virginia remain red-hot.
The T3 Home Demand Index, created by the Mid-Atlantic multiple-listing service Bright MLS, uses a variety of data points to settle on a monthly score for the Washington region’s overall homes market all the way down to the ZIP-code level.
In new data reported Oct. 12, the regional index figure stood at 122, in the “Moderate” range (where the local region has sat since July). The score was up from a month before, owing to more buyer interest in most types of housing, but was down from the 142 (“High”) reading of a year before.
The factors used to compile the scores are activities that occur before the sales process transpires, so unlike monthly sales reports, the figures can be used as a forward-looking indicator. The baseline of 100 was in March after analysts looked at a year’s worth of data; there is no upper limit to how high a number can be reached.
Why the decline from a year before? Largely because the summer 2020 market, having shaken off the first impacts of COVID, was hot-hot-hot as buyers deduced (correctly, in many cases) that waiting to secure a home could hit them in the pocketbook down the road due to increasing appreciation rates.
Those rising prices, and a competitive environment that still favors sellers, have consequently led other prospective purchasers to opt out of the market, although the demand was high in most single-family market and also in the high-end condo market in the most recent report.
For the month, Arlington had an overall rating of 233 – well into the “High” category and leading all other regional jurisdictions.
Also in the “High” grouping were Alexandria (204), Prince William County (182), Falls Church (154) and Fairfax County (152). But elsewhere in the survey’s coverage area, the market was in the “Moderate” category: the District of Columbia at 126, Loudoun County at 125, and Montgomery County and Prince George’s County at 118 each.
Among individual ZIP codes, buyer interest was off the charts (figuratively speaking) in a number of Arlington areas, including 22206 (a score of 305), 22204 (296), 22201 (290), 22203 (243) and 22202 (237). Also high were Arlington ZIPs 22205 (201), 22209 (176) and 22207 (151).
In the Sun Gazette coverage area of Fairfax County, the highest rates were recorded in 22181 (Vienna area, 188), 22124 (Oakton, 143), 22180 (Vienna, 140) and 22027 (Dunn Loring, 130).
Cooler ZIPs included 22102 (McLean, 110), 22182 (Vienna area, 102), 22101 (McLean, 87) and, due largely to limited sales in any given month, 22206 (Great Falls, 58)
For full data, see the Website at www.homedemandindex.com.