In Northern Virginia, more homebuyers than sellers

Simple math explains why the Northern Virginia housing market is so competitive for potential buyers: In February, there were 1.41 pending home sales for every one home for sale.

That measures the number of active listings as of the end of February against contracts signed to buy a home, but sales not yet closed, over the course of the previous several weeks, and demonstrates there is not enough on the market in Northern Virginia to keep up with demand.

That is especially true for buyers looking for a house and a yard.

“Single-family homes and town houses under $1 million in all parts of Northern Virginia had less than one month of inventory at the end of February,” said Derrick Swaak, president of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.

“Competition for well-priced, desirable detached homes was fierce in that price point, with many buyers waiving contingencies just to get their offers looked at.”

The NVAR’s footprint covers Fairfax and Arlington counties; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church; and the towns of Vienna, Herndon and Clifton.

The number of active listings in Northern Virginia last month was 6.8% lower than a year ago. New listings coming on the market in February were down 8.7%.

As a result, sellers received an average of 100.2% of list price for their home in February.

Lack of enough homes for sale has not slowed sales in Northern Virginia. There were 25.4% more closed sales in February than there were a year ago. The total dollar volume of homes sold was $985.6 million, up 27% from last February, and 10% higher than the previous month. There were 2,222 contracts pending at the end of February, up 6.5% from a year ago.

NVAR says that indicates earlier-than-usual spring market conditions.

For buyers in the market for pricey condos instead of a house in Northern Virginia, there is actually more to look at. In February, there were 77 condos listed in the $1 million-plus range, compared to 48 a year ago.

The average price of a home that sold in Northern Virginia last month was $661,391.

Below is a snapshot of sales and prices in the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors’ region in February 2021:

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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