Real Estate Roundup, April 5, 2009--Vienna, VA 22180

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster

Real Estate Roundup

Written for the Merrifield View Homeowners' Association Quarterly Newsletter, April 2009

Vienna, VA  22180

By Mark G. Melikan, MBA

"So what's the market doing?  How's the market?  What's the market looking like?"  The truth is, the real estate market is alive and well, and despite what one might hear Wolf Blitzer or Greta Van Susteren say, people are buying and selling, and lenders are lending money. There is no disputing the fact that foreclosures and short-sales have contributed to rapidly declining values and that the market place has a whole new landscape as some homeowners must stay put, but the news won't tell you things such as approximately 1/3 of all homes in America are owned free and's not's not's not news worthy.

In Northern Virginia, non-condo properties at the lower (sub $400K) price points are actually selling rapidly; in fact, there are pockets or sub-markets throughout Northern Virginia that one could undoubtedly call strong "Sellers' Markets".  Yes, you heard correctly.  As a Realtor® working with both buyers and sellers, I have been involved in at least a dozen multiple-offer situations in the past eight months.  Do you think Katie Couric would dare report that kind of activity?

In all fairness, 2/3 of those battles took place in Prince William County where values reached unimaginable lows. But here is the good has spread in and around the beltway.  Here are the latest monthly figures for Northern Virginia as compared to one year ago*:

•·         Market times (Days on Market) are down 11%

•·         Inventory is down 26%

•·         Median sales price is down 23%

•·         Sales are up 18%. 

Are we approaching or at the bottom?  Indicators are looking good, and John McClain, a GMU Economist whose expertise is Northern Virginia, said in a February WTOP interview that we are just about at the pricing levels one would expect to see if looking at real estate appreciation in 10 year segments. 


The bottom line:  Our values have dropped with this unprecedented real estate cycle, and while it has affected many in a variety of ways, the sky is not falling.  This, too, shall pass, and with some time we will once again see appreciation when the market cycle shifts.  Northern Virginia is very fortunate to have a strong local economy where the light is starting to shine at the end of the tunnel.  

Note of Interest: Merrifield View's values have dropped nearly 23% from its peak in 2006.

Got a question? Ask the neighborhood Realtor®

Mark Melikan

*Data Source:  Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS)

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