Northern Virginia Housing Market Poised for Strong 2020 Start
Homeowners and developers in Northern Virginia (NV) are likely to see an increased demand for their properties with the start of the New Year, an industry leader has said.
With the release of their latest monthly report on regional housing market, Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) President Christine Richardson discussed its outlook for the near future.
“January and February (last year) felt like the spring market. I think we should be prepared again in 2020 for an earlier market surge. Buyers are anxious to take advantage of the favorable interest rates. They will be actively searching for their new homes as soon as the holidays finish up,” she said.
Soon after the announcement of Amazon’s $2.5 billion investment to build its second North American headquarters (HQ2) in Crystal City, the region’s housing market started to take off by the end of 2018. Once complete, the massive tech campus — now National Landing — will employ some 25,000 white-collars. Anticipating their gradual arrival over the next five years, NV homes have continued to find buyers at higher square-foot prices throughout 2019.
Listings Down, Prices Up in November
According to the same NVAR report, a total of 1,430 homes changed hands in November. Though active listings were down by about 30% over the same month of 2018. Year-on-year, the median home sale price rose by over 5.5%, from $510,000 to $538,250.
At the sub-regional level, the best performer as per median home sale price was Fairfax City. In Fairfax City, it rose by over 9% to hit $551,000. In Arlington and Alexandria, the median figures indicated slight decreases while average home sale prices proved the resilience of the markets. The average price of all the 173 homes sold in Arlington in November was 11.28% higher than a year earlier. Likewise, Alexandria saw a total of almost 150 homes having new owners last month. Their average price was 7% higher over the same period in 2018. The conflict between median and average prices occurred because there were mostly smaller homes in these two particular markets.
“Like shoppers hoping to snag pre-holiday door-busters, November homebuyers acted quickly, even without bargain prices,” Richardson said. “We have more buyers than we have homes to sell.”
On December 11th, economists at the Real Estate Forecast Summit by National Association of Realtors, an umbrella organization for NVAR and dozens of other similar associations nationwide, predicted only better times are ahead. Their consensus was for low mortgage and unemployment rates to continue in 2020, with a low likelihood of recession.
From 1921 onwards, NVAR has grown from 40 to some 12,000 members who, only in 2017, closed more than 22,000 transactions with a total dollar volume of over $13 billion in the region.