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Home prices on the rise in Loudoun, sales numbers remain steady

More and more people were attracted to high-ticket homes last month, while the number of homes sold remained steady compared to February 2010.

The average sales price of a Loudoun home, as well as the median sales price and the total dollar volume of sold homes, all increased last month compared to February 2010, according to a report released by RealEstate Business Intelligence, a Metropolitan Regional Information System company based in Maryland.

Loudoun’s average sales price came in at $410,388, a 9 percent increase over the same time last year, when the average ticket price was $376,184.

The average price for detached units spiked in February due to the sale of one $4.5 million property and one for $2.5 million home, according to Loudoun housing analyst, Rosemary deButts.

Median sales prices increased from $343,359 in February 2010 to $360,000 last month. Additionally, Loudoun’s sold dollar volume totaled $111,625,445, a 9 percent increase compared to $102,698,319 sold volume in February 2010.

DeButts gave a partial explanation for the median sales increase. Distressed sales, which are short sales and foreclosures, spiked to 43 percent in January, but had a healthy decline of 38 percent in February, she said.

“Fewer distressed sales translates to higher sales prices,” she said. Montgomery and Prince George’s counties both saw an increase of distressed sales from January to February.

DeButts said Loudouner’s shouldn’t put too much stock in the sales figures because real estate is a cyclical industry.  The average sales per month will increase dramatically until June when the average begins to decline in the second half of the year, she said.

Single-family, detached units accounted for 52 percent of total sales so far this year in Loudoun. Townhouses and other attached units represented 41 percent of the total and condominiums represented 7 percent of the market. Last year, 273 homes sold in February, this year 272 homes were sold. 

Last year, the market was bolstered by the First Time Buyer’s Credit, deButts said.  So far this year, the Loudoun market is holding its own compared to last year, a pretty remarkable feat in the absence of artificially stimulated demand, she said. 

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Metro has little or nothing to do with the current housing market. DC area was not affected like other areas. It’s cheaper living further from DC, good schools, safer neighborhoods, more businesses locating closer to Loudoun helps to attract families and you’re not far from the country.

Jobs increase growth. Growth creates demand on housing, and lack of housing will push up prices. But its a double edge sword. As the cost of housing increases, fewer people are able to afford to live here. At the same time, business find the cost of doing business in the county unaffordable. Before long, the Loudoun no longer becomes the ideal community for new residents of businesses.

Metro rail hasn’t been a proven factor in home price increase.  Good schools? Now that will attract growth on numerous long term fronts.

I think going forward housing prices in Loudoun will increase even more because of new Metro (silver) line project.

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