HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Before looking ahead, it's important to take a look back at real estate sales for 2011. At the start of 2011, inventory of homes on the market was way down from 2010, the federal homebuyer tax credit was over, and the economy was still in flux. The home sales news for 2011 in Northern Virginia was a mixed bag. Prices were up in most areas and the market has generally stabilized. However the overall number of homes sold was down in almost all jurisdictions.
Whether you are planning to sell your home in 2012 are are interested in purchasing a home this year (I know it's on some of your New Year's resolutions lists), it's necessary to understand some numbers -- the number of sales and the amount of inventory available.
How many homes sold in Northern Virginia in 2011?
% Change from 2010
ALEXANDRIA CITY 1,970 Homes Sold in 2011 +3.6%
ARLINGTON COUNTY 2,355 Homes Sold in 2011 -9.1%
FAIRFAX COUNTY 12,541 Homes Sold in 2011 -8.7%
FALLS CHURCH CITY 193 Homes Sold in 2011 +36.0%
LOUDOUN COUNTY 4,773 Homes Sold in 2011 -2.5%
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY 5,752 Homes Sold in 2011 -12.2%
In almost all markets with the exception of Alexandria and Falls Church, volume of sales were down. Prince William County sales numbers dropped by the largest amount. Overall there were 2,234 less home sales in Northern Virginia in 2011 as compared to 2010 or a total decrease in volume of 7.5%
How many Northern Virginia homes will sell in 2012? Pull out your crystal balls. There's a ton of variables this year and the experts and prognosticators vary widely on their predictions of a real estate recovery, the economy, how much foreclosures and short sales will continue to impact our market, the job market, and the new Congress.
As of the start of 2012, here are the inventories of resale homes listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service:
% Change from 1/1/11
ALEXANDRIA CITY 347 Homes Available -32.9%
ARLINGTON COUNTY 455 Homes Available -5.0%
FAIRFAX COUNTY 2,142 Homes Available -14.4%
FALLS CHURCH CITY 22 Homes Available -15.4%
LOUDOUN COUNTY 1,202 Homes Available -4.2%
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY 1,094 Homes Available -19.1%
Overall, inventory numbers are way down from already low inventories at the beginning of 2011. This could be very good news if you are planning to sell your home this year. If 2012 home sales continue even at the sluggish 2011 pace, most jurisdictions currently have less than 2-3 months of inventory supply! Incredibly good news if you plan to sell your home and price it right!
IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO NORTHERN VIRGINIA BUYERS AND SELLERS:
You can't control the market. You can't control the prices or the number of sales.
The market is constantly changing.
2012 IS THE TIME to get expert advice, a skilled negotiator, and a savvy real estate broker who knows how to navigate this market to help you with your real estate goals.