Housing Market Trends In The Area

The statistics are now in from the National Association of Realtors for February, and there is a note of softness in the figures. Certainly, it’s nothing dramatic, especially since we are just now on the cusp of the heaviest sales season and the news which always moves the statistical needle. Let’s look at a segment of Western Prince William County, Bristow area. The median list price of homes in Bristow was $460,000 at the close of February 2019, trending down -4.1% year-over-year. The median listing price per square foot was $154, and the median sale price was $435,000. The drop of $25,000 from median List to median Sold is a minor indicator of our market losing some of its heat, but can also indicate that value expectations were higher than normal. We’re anxious to see what the April and May figures reveal.

For this article, we are reporting on zip code 20136. Among other neighborhoods located in Bristow, Victory Lakes has a median listing price of $547,400 making it the most expensive neighborhood.  Others are Meadows at Morris Farm, $439,700; Glenkirk Estates, $535,000; Sheffield Manor, $350,000; Bridlewood, $412,500. Keep in mind that these statistics are based on active listings of which there are few at present, so the values are not necessarily indicative of neighborhood-wide pricing. Additionally, the existence of townhomes in some of these neighborhoods bring the median listing price downward compare do other neighborhoods that only have single-family detached properties.

It’s often useful to take a look at year-over-year numbers to analyze market trends. The 20136 history shows an interesting track record of Median List (ML) to Median Sold (MS). Today our ML is $460,000 to MS of $435,000 for a drop of $25,000. One year ago it was $480,000 ML to $445,000 MS for a $35,000 drop, and in 2017 it was $450,000 ML to $460,000 MS for a $10,000 increase. These facts are particularly interesting when paired with Days on Market (DOM) that is 48 now with a $25K decrease, 42 in 2018 with a $35K decrease, but 52 in 2017 that had a $10K increase! As counter-intuitive as these statistics seem, we think it represents some intangibles, namely, the aforementioned expectations from recent announcements of an influx of buyers from the new industry coming to the area, and general expectations about the future of our country with all its volatile political gyrations.

After all that immersion in hard numbers, here’s some easy to grasp great news! Most homes sell for around list price and find a buyer in less than 45 days. Hot Homes can sell for above list price and can sell even quicker! These are the wonderful hidden facts behind simply studying Median prices.

More good news from Washington. Interest rates don’t affect our market as acutely as less-affluent neighborhoods, but they do have a subtle effect on buyers. When the news reports “the buzz” that rates may go up, buyers ears perk up. None of us like to spend more than necessary, and with high mortgage amounts, interest rates are a very real factor and can influence the timing of a buyer’s decision. Not to worry – more good news! Not only is fiscally conservative Steve Moore on deck to fill one of the two open seats on the Federal Reserve Board, but in late March the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced that rates would hold steady for now. That’s doesn’t sound like forever, so I suspect rate-conscious buyers to act as soon as practical.

As your Realtors, we’d be the first ones to tell you that there’s often commentary from us who are working daily with the housing inventory for a wide variety of clients. For example, the statistics from NAR are gleaned from their Multiple Listing Service database and data from closed transactions both reported and collected from County Recorder’s offices or taxing agencies. They include a mixture of types of homes including condos. Other services report different prices, but the ratio between median and sold is usually pretty similar. The important thing is to discuss with us as your Realtors are the trends for buying and selling. Nothing takes the place of boots on the ground, and The Ashley Leigh Team is awfully proud of our knowledge of the local inventory, how it’s priced, how briskly it sells, age, schools, and the myriad of factors that contribute to your buying and selling decisions. Please be in touch anytime at (703) 485-HOME so that we can strategize the best real estate options for you and your family.


by Ashley Leigh

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