For consumers it might seem easy to create a neighborhood market report. The data is in the local MLS right?
The truth is a bit more complicated than you might think. The Northern Virginia MLS has some great market reports available for agents to use. Currently those reports compiled on the 10th of each month only go as deep as the zip code level. These reports are a nice overview and can give you a barometer of the health of area. But what is happening at the zip code level is not a good indication of a local neighborhood.
However you always need to dig deeper to get an understanding of your own neighborhood and even then problems can arise. Some of those are simple such as your model versus another one and some are complicated by neighborhoods with split personalities.
One of the Woodbridge communities with a split personality if River Falls. The legal tax name for the community is River Falls on the Occoquan and within it's borders is another neighborhood called Beaver Creek. A search for River Falls will pull up some homes, a search for River Falls on the Occoquan more and then Beaver Creek additional homes. So what do you do when you put together a market report for the neighborhood? Do you lump them all together or do you separate them out?
Watch how the net sales price changes as you add in the other parts of the community.
River Falls $763,400
River Falls on the Occoquan (added) $749,771
Beaver Creek (added) $718,600
If you look at just the zip code level for 22192 which includes River Falls the sales price drops significantly for detached homes with 4 or more bedrooms is $423,737. A huge difference.
Most of the time it's a matter of figuring out how the residents within the community view the neighborhood and creating a report based on those parameters. But it does but the burden on the shoulders of anyone writing a market report to identify what data is being used to make up the market report.
If you are a buyer or seller relying on local market reports for information make sure you ask for more details before you decide the numbers you see are accurate for your neighborhood. Mistakes happen and you want to make a decision about Woodbridge VA real estate based on the best data possible. If you are looking for information on your neighborhood give Cindy Jones and CJ Realty Group a call at 703-346-2213.