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    Classified listings Homes section

    Home sales remain sluggish

    For the third month in a row, Loudoun's housing market has hit a snag.

    Second quarter reports released by Dulles Area Association of Realtors for April, May and June 2014 showed a 6.7 percent drop in home sales compared to the second quarter of 2013.
    The number of houses on the market has grown, however, with a 21.1 percent increase in new listings since last quarter, showing a buyer's market this season.

    According to the Q2 2014 report, despite the increased listings, only 1,706 unites were sold overall. The market also saw a modest 1.3 percent sales price increase over the year, with a median sales price of $435,400.

    The numbers don't explain why buyers aren't buying in such a ripe market. But Jeannette Newton, chief executive officer of DAAR believes a prime factor is a continued buyer insecurity in an uncertain economy.

    “Most of what you've got is buyers who are changing jobs and have to move, but people aren't just choosing to move because of the uncertainty [with the economy],” she said. “The economy is still a big concern for people, and it's constantly in their minds.”

    Another factor stalling the market, Newton said, is the bad weather that slowed sales in the spring market.

    “When the spring market got here, it got here so late that we didn’t enjoy the fruits of it. … It has delayed everything.”

    Sue Smith, associate broker with Remax Premier and The Sue Smith Team owner, said the market has stalled because buyers are picky. The surplus of listings means buyers can afford to take their time.

    “It is a great time to buy,” Smith said. “You have a lot of options right now. You have a lot of homes to choose from and you possibly could have a little more negotiation power if you're a buyer, depending on the situation. I expect to see that role into the fall.”

    Buyers taking their time is not a bad thing, she said. But it's not good news for sellers, who have experienced an increase in days-on-market, with some homes staying unsold for as much as 16 days, six days longer than the average DOM in the second quarter last year.

    “Sellers right now are going to need to understand that it will be taking a little longer, and they have to be realistic and patient,” Smith said.

    And like many things, Smith said the market is always changing. And Christine Windle, director of public policy and communications at DAAR, said the Loudoun County housing market is doing OK.

    “The fact is, we're in one of the best markets in the country,” she said. “You don't want to complain about the good fortune at all. We put out the numbers in order to understand the different dynamic that's going on within this market.”

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