Northern Virginia housing market ‘inches towards favor of buyers’

There has been nothing normal about the D.C. region’s housing market since the pandemic began. There are some signs, however, at least in the Northern Virginia market, that it may be starting to lean toward more normal times.

“We are seeing that in three areas,” said Ryan McLaughlin, CEO of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.

“One is the months’ supply of inventory which we’ve seen increase a bit, which is a good sign for buyers. The second one is the average days on market. Homes are taking a little bit longer to sell, albeit not a long time. And the third one is the sales price to list price ratio, or how much buyers are paying over asking price.”

In June, the months’ supply of homes for sale was 1.1 months, which the association says is similar to the five-year June average of 1.2 months. Homes that sold in June had been on the market an average of 13 days, 8.3% longer than a year earlier.

The average sale price was about 100% of list price in June, also more in line with the five-year average.

There are also still market dynamics that indicate the Northern Virginia market has a way to go before returning to its historical normal.

“Active listings are well below the five-year average,” McLaughlin said. “Another area where we are not seeing a return to normal is prices overall. And the third area that we’re not seeing a sign of back to normal is the number of closed sales.”

In June, there were 1,500 active listings, compared to the five-year average of 2,200 active listings at any given time. The number of closed sales in June was down 16% from a year ago, and significantly trailing the five year average, largely because of lack of listings.

The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors represents agents in Fairfax and Arlington counties, the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church and the towns of Vienna, Herndon and Clifton.

Below is a snapshot of the Northern Virginia housing market in June:

A chart depicting home sales around Northern Virginia. (Courtesy Northern Virginia Association of Realtors)
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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