2019 housing market forecast: Arlington up, Alexandria down

WASHINGTON — The number of homes sold in Northern Virginia in September was down almost 12 percent from a year earlier, and active listings throughout the Northern Virginia region are down 9.3 percent from September 2017, according to the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.

The Association’s data include Fairfax and Arlington counties, the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church and the towns of Vienna, Herndon and Clifton.

But prices continue to rise, with the average price of what sold in Northern Virginia in September 2018 at $573,555, up 3.6 percent from a year earlier.

“Although Northern Virginia sellers remain in the driver’s seat, our September data regarding rising home values is a positive indicator to those wondering about market headwinds,” said NVAR chair Lorraine Arora.

“Despite volatility in the stock market and Federal Reserve decisions, homes that are priced and show well are selling,” she said.

Not everything on the market in Northern Virginia is selling.

“If a home is not in tip-top shape, it is sitting,” said Gary Lange with Weichert Realty in Vienna. “Sellers are trying to get top spring market prices and that just isn’t going to happen in fall and winter months,” he said.

Lange said he’s seen instances of buyers keeping a home on their radar, and then pounce on it with other potential buyers when the seller decides to lower the price. A price reduction often triggers multiple offers and can actually benefit the seller in the end.

The NVAR has also issued its forecast for early 2019, most notably calling for prices in Arlington to continue rising and prices in Fairfax and Alexandria to pull back, with inventory declines in all three jurisdictions to continue.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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