Are Fiscal Cliff Fears Hurting Fairfax Real Estate Market?

If Congress and the President fail to reach agreement and go over the “fiscal cliff” at the end of the year, steep automatic spending cuts will go into effect in 2013. With all federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, spending less money, the local economy could suffer.

We may have seen the first indications of that fear in the October home sales figures from Real Estate Business Intelligence. Its October data shows nearly all sales indicators for the Fairfax County market dipped from September, though most were up year-over-year.

Sales for the month totaled $467.546,386. That was down 5.3 percent from September, though it was up a healthy 25.84 percent from October 2011. The number of closed sales fell to 986, a decline of 2.09 percent but a 21 percent gain from year ago levels.

The median selling price totaled $415,000, up from last year but down 1.43 percent from September. The average selling price was $474, 185, down 3.28 percent from the month before.

Average days on the market totaled 45 days, unchanged from September. And the ratio of selling price to listing price was 97.16 percent, a gain of 0.22 percent — the one area where the data showed a month-to-month improvement.

Condo sales remained active last month with 525 attached units selling during October. That’s an increase of 19.59 percent over last October.

Among single-family homes, there were 461 sales, an increase of 22.61 percent.

Sales activity may also have been dampened last month by a drop in the number of available homes for sale in the county. Active listings dropped more than 31 percent to 2,254.