Housing prices edge up in Loudoun while sales are down
New listing activity in the Loudoun County market continued to outpace the previous year’s level in August, with 15.5 percent more sellers entering the market, according to the Dulles Area Association of Realtors.
This marked the sixth consecutive month with double‐digit percent increases. Active inventory is now 58.5 percent higher than last year at this time. With sales down 16.4 percent from last year’s level, the strong seller’s market of 2013 has balanced out, according to DAAR.
The 2,294 active listings at month’s end represent five months of supply based on the 12‐month average sales pace. This is up from three months of supply last August, when inventory remained near record lows.
The relative balance of the Loudoun market is alleviating the upward pressure on prices, resulting in a modest 1.1 percent year‐over‐year dip in the median sales price for August. Less competition among buyers, with more listings to choose from, contributed to an increase in the amount of time listings took to sell. The median days‐on‐market more than doubled from 15 days in August 2013 to 33 days this year.
Realtors are forecasting steady price increases but at a slower, more steady pace compared with historical trends. The housing recovery has pushed up home prices nearly everywhere.
Key trends from the monthly DAAR report:
Softer sales. The 491 closed sales in August represented a 16.4 percent decrease from last year, but virtually matched the five‐year August average. Sales have missed the prior year’s mark in seven of the first eight months of 2014.
New contracts down. The 513 contracts signed in August represented a 9.5 percent decrease from August 2013 but were 4.4 percent higher than the five‐year August average.
Listing activity up. The 836 new listings added in August represented a 15.5 percent increase over the 724 added last August. This was the seventh month with more sellers entering the market than 2013 levels.
Inventory grows. The 2,294 active listings to close the month are 58.5 percent higher than August 2013 and 35.4 percent above the five‐year August average. Townhome inventory has doubled from the scarce level of last August, from 288 active listings to 576.
Modest price drop. The median sales price in August of $430,000 was 1.1 percent lower than August 2014. While this was the third month this year with prices slightly lower than 2013 levels, the year‐to‐date median sales price of $435,000 is 3.6 percent higher than the same period last year.
Time to sell increases. Half the homes sold in August were on the market 33 days or more. This represents the highest August median DOM since 2008 and a 10‐day increase over the August 2013 level.
In Fairfax County, the August housing market reflected a continued hesitancy of buyer activity with fewer home sales recorded but with a 72 percent rise in inventory compared to August last year, providing serious buyers with the best selection of homes on the market all year.
Affordability is still one of the challenges that buyers face.
“The high education level and predominance of the two-income household are strong in Northern Virginia,” said Mario Rubio, chairman of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.