While it has been an unpredictable year in the real estate market, new home construction sales — particularly in largely rural western Loudoun — have been expressly strong over the past few months, according to local home builders.
Mark Jalajel, sales manager for Carrington Homes, a builder that focuses on homes in western Loudoun, said the company typically sells about 50 homes a year, or about five each month.
This summer, however, sales have increased rapidly — in part due to people moving from more urban areas and looking for more outdoor space amid the pandemic, Jalajel said.
In June, Carrington sold nine homes, and in July they sold 24 homes. Eight contracts had already been signed as of early August, he said.
“We are going through the home lots fast. I’ve never seen anything like this. We tried raising prices, but that did not slow things down. About 60 percent are people coming from Alexandria, Arlington and D.C., moving away from cities,” he said.
In Carrington’s The Ridings neighborhood located off John Wolford Road in Purcellville, Carrington has released 10 lots and already sold eight, Jalajel said. Another 10 lots are planned for the second phase of the development.
Carrington has several other developments around the area — Hunt Ridge Preserve, James Farm and Meethinghouse Farm in Purcellville. Coming soon, there will be lots on the market in Downey Mill in Lovettsville.
A representative of Evergreene Homes, a small regional home builder, also said he has seen sales increase over the summer.
Rob Cappellini, president and CEO of Evergreene, said sales dropped in March and April, began to stabilize in May and then shot up in June and July.
“We are very grateful business has picked up. We are seeing a lot of people moving out to western Loudoun from urban centers in D.C., Alexandria and Arlington,” Cappellini said.
Evergreene Homes’ Miller’s Reserve project, located off Route 9 and Purcellville Road in Purcellville, went on the market this spring, and three homes have already been sold. Cappellini said they will be opening a model at the development by the end of the year. The development will feature 20 homes after completion.
“It’s an exciting project with gorgeous land, a creek and beautiful views,” Cappellini said of Miller’s Reserve.
Other Evergreene projects around western Loudoun have nearly sold out, with just one lot remaining at Touchstone Farms off Route 287 in Purcellville. At Longmoor Farm, near Woodgrove High School, phase one has sold out.
Lisa Sturtevant, chief economist for Virginia Realtors, told the Times-Mirror there was a steep decline in homes sales when the pandemic began, but sales were up 27 percent in May and June.
“Overall the housing market exhibited a V-shaped recovery. Prices are up, sales are up, but supply is going down. New construction is where the inventory has to come from,” she said.
Examining the data, Sturtevant says the trend over the past two years — even before the pandemic — is an increase in home sales in suburban areas among millennials who are reaching their early 30s, having kids and looking for good schools and homes with more space, she said.