Median home sale prices up in July, quantity down

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Home prices trended higher in July, while buyers across Northern Virginia again had fewer homes to choose from than a year earlier.

Inventory in Loudoun County declined 20 percent, while prices rose 2 percent. Homes across the region sold at a brisk pace – within 22 days on average in Fairfax County to 29 days in Alexandria.

Long & Foster Real Estate’s Market Minute report for Northern Virginia includes the city of Alexandria, and ArlingtonFairfaxLoudoun and Prince William counties.

The number of homes sold was up 10 percent in Alexandria but fell 6 percent in Fairfax County, where the median sale price increased 6 percent. Alexandria prices were up 11 percent.

Larry “Boomer” Foster, president of Long & Foster Real Estate, said despite low-inventory conditions for three years and counting, there is no room for complacency among sellers. Most buyers are looking for homes that are move-in ready. A house that isn’t correctly priced or needs a lot of updates might still be difficult to sell.

“There aren’t enough homes to meet demand, but properties are still staying on the market if they haven’t been positioned correctly,” Foster said. “A knowledgeable real estate agent will help price the home based on its condition, unique features and comparable sales – not on the amount other current sellers hope to get for their homes or what an internet-based valuation tool says.”

As interest rates and prices trend higher, affordability is becoming a concern, Foster said. Although rates in the 4’s for 30-year mortgages are considered historically low, any increase impacts the amount the buyer pays. “If wage growth doesn’t keep up, and if interest rates rise, fewer people will be able to buy,” Foster said.


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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.