Pandemic market is still a seller’s market, NoVa Realtors say
Housing shortage, buyer demand are leading causes.
Some things never change. The limited number of available homes for sale and increased buyer demand in Northern Virginia has allowed the strong sellers’ market to continue, according to the Northern Virginia Association of Relators. NVAR covers Fairfax and Arlington counties, Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church and the towns of Vienna, Herndon and Clifton.
“While the average sold price increased regionally by nearly 7.5% above the April 2019 levels, the pandemic has affected our normally active spring listing rush,” NVAR President Nicholas Lagos said in a statement — adding that listings were down 17.88% last month, as compared to April 2019. “But the data across the region shows buyer demand is vigorous and active.” Lagos is also an associate broker with Century 21 New Millennium in Arlington.
Due to the state’s stay-at-home orders, there was a decrease in sales volume in the spring. Potential buyers and sellers wanted to keep their distance, which Lagos said made existing inventory shrink even further.
“We were down on closed units on average by 20% last month,” Deborah Baxter, NVAR board member and principal broker and co-owner of Coppermine Realty in Clifton, said in a statement. “The National Association of Realtors has reported that more people are buying multi-generational homes and first-time home buyers are going for condos; the townhome that used to be the young family’s first-time buy isn’t necessarily the case anymore.”
But despite the lower inventory number and number of units sold, home prices went up during April in Northern Virginia. The average home sales price increased by more than 7% to $667,527, compared to April 2019. The median sold price for homes last month in Northern Virginia was $596,500, a 6.5% increase from April 2019.
“The NVAR region is dominated by the professional and business services sector, which helps to stabilize us,” Terry Clower, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, said in a statement. “The federal government underpinnings also contribute to that stabilizing effect.”
Houses are also spending fewer days on the market, according to NVAR.
“The number of days on market is an average of 13 days, so we are still in a multi-offer situation,” Baxter said in a statement. “We are in a severe housing shortage, which means more of a competitive situation for buyers.”