The year 2016 is going to go down in the history books as the best real estate market for sales in McLean and Great Falls in a decade. The number of transactions was up 10% year over year, rising to 1,081. That is the first time ever over the 1k mark. Furthermore, compared to the 2006 market, it was up over 18%. This is outstanding news for the market area as we enter into the new year of 2017 and the inauguration. All segments performed better or remained steady in 2016 over 2015. There were two segments that experienced year over year increase in sales of 20% or more.
The price segment that experienced the greatest increase year over year was the $1.25 to $2 m range. This market niche comprises mostly of in-fill new home builders who tear down existing older homes for the land value. It has been the case that many of the lots have been purchased off market thus potentially skewing the numbers for the lower price ranges. Available land for development in McLean and Great Falls is at a premium, thus it is difficult to predict how long this trend is likely to continue. As long as end-user home purchasers have to compete with builders for lots, there is more demand than supply. When demand continues to outpace supply; it can be a healthy sign of a rising market. However these dynamics make it more challenging for a first or second time home buyer to purchase in the community.
The other price range that was strong for 2016 was the $750k to $1 m which saw an increase of 20% in sales year over year. This is the best indicator of the potential for price appreciation as buyers no longer are able to find housing that meet their needs in the under $750k range.
The upper bracket price points above $2 m continued to be flat for 2016 over 2015 and similar to the 2006 levels. The number of buyers who are qualified to purchase homes in this segment is considerably smaller and remains fairly constant. There are some projections that with the new administration we could experience a greater number of purchasers who can afford a luxury home and thus have a more robust market in this price range in 2017.
Sellers in McLean and Great Falls experienced the “best of times” market conditions in 2016. The number of transactions was up year over year and even greater than 2006, which experts have considered the last peak year for the area. Heading into 2017 there are strong indications that homes in good condition for the market and priced correctly should continue to sell for strong prices. And there are some market segments that could experience price appreciation, provided demand remains strong relative to supply.
Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy and their team HBC Group at Keller Williams are active and experienced Realtors® in the Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland and Washington, DC market place. They would be delighted to assist whether for home buying or selling. Please contact via the means most convenient for you: www.HBCRealtyGroup.com, 703-734-0192, Homes@HBCRealtyGroup.com.