Wednesday, May 19, 2010

N.Va. Home Sales Spurt Upward in April

by SCOTT McCAFFREY, Staff Writer
(Created: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 10:14 AM EDT)

A combination of higher sales and increasing prices sent the Northern Virginia real estate market up 30.5 percent in total volume in April, compared to a year before.

The $817 million in sales volume for the inner suburbs was up from $626.1 million a year before, according to figures reported May 10 by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, the area’s multiple-listing service.

The figures represent transactions in Arlington and Fairfax counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church.

Sales likely were strengthened by the federal home-buyer tax credit, which expired at the end of the month. The increasing sales also may have played a role in propping up prices.

All told, there were 1,793 closed sales during the month, up 16.1 percent from the 1,544 transactions recorded in April 2009.

And average sales prices jumped even higher, up 12.4 percent to $455,686. Average prices were up in all segments of the market:

* The average sales price of single-family homes was $621,683, up 18.2 percent.

* The average sales price of attached homes, such as townhouses, was up 12.3 percent, to $390,849.

* The average sales price of condominiums was up 2.4 percent, to $277,151.

The median sales price also rose, up 9.3 percent to $390,000. The median is the point at which half of homes sell for more, half for less, and is seen by some as a more accurate gauge of the direction of the market.

Of all homes that sold during the month, it took a brisk 45 days to go from original listing to ratified sales contract. That’s down from 85 days a year ago, and compares favorably to the long-term regional average of 90 days.

Nearly 70 percent of homes that sold during April spent less than a month on the market, a figure not seen since the tail end of the 2000-05 boom market. Less than 11 percent took longer than four months to find a purchaser.

Loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) continued to be used by many buyers. FHA-backed loans represented nearly 30 percent of the financing across the region during the month. During the boom market, FHA loans were almost never used in Northern Virginia transactions.

Of all homes that sold, the average sales price represented 96.2 percent of original listing price, up from 92.3 percent a year before.

At the end of the month, there were 8,327 properties on the market across the region. Just over 4,000 properties came onto the market during April.

Figures represent most, but not all, homes sold during the period. All sales figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Top Updates week of May 3rd, 2010

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