Happy Fall, Alexandria! Here at Patterson Group, we had a very busy and successful spring and summer market full of fantastic clients. Our spring was definitely the stereotypical busy spring market that sweeps across all of the DMV, but what is unusual is that the normal August slow down, where buyers and sellers take vacations and gear up for back to school, never happened. Units sold were up, days on market was down, and we saw a 3.48 percent increase in new listings.
Our biggest demands this summer and early fall have been first-time home buyers wanting to get into Old Town and Del Ray, followed closely by second-time home buyers, those growing families wanting to leave Old Town, Arlington, and Del Ray for Rosemont, Beverly Hills, or Fort Hunt, and, lastly, the downsizers who have sowed their suburban oats and are ready to get back to Old Town or city living!
As we approach Halloween and the Presidential Election, things are starting to slow down a bit, as they inevitably do at this time of year. This is partly because a lot of families with children try to move before the school year starts, but also due to the trend of buyers and sellers being less likely to uproot during cold, snowy weather and the holiday season. Buyers are still out looking at open houses, but six out of 10 are telling us they are really looking at the inventory to better understand what their dollars will get them come spring 2017. That certainly does not mean there is no activity, but we expect more sales activity after the election and inauguration.
Historically, in the years directly following an election, there is increased sales activity as government roles and political posts shift. According to the Economists’ Outlook blog, the last six presidential elections have resulted in home sales rising in the D.C. metro area by an average of 10 percent in the year following an election. The blog states that this leads to a more competitive house hunting process “while sellers can benefit from the anticipated busier activity.” Phyllis has seen this trend over and over again in her 30 years of working as an agent in this area.
Don’t be alarmed if you hear something about a downward trend in the real estate market. That trend looks at the decrease in sales moving from June (typically the highest volume month) to July to August and into the fall and winter months, but this does not mean that it is a bad time to buy or sell. A recent article in Forbes advises sellers to expect their home to be on the market for an average of 40-50 days, about 20 days longer than typical summer sales. (Of course, Forbes is careful to note, about 15 percent of all homes stay on the market for more than six months, especially those that are truly unique and in the upper price range.)
Now for some quick stats from SmartCharts to put things in perspective for September 2016:
In the 22308 zip code, which includes many homes along the GW Parkway and in the Fort Hunt area, there were 14 closed sales in September at a median price of $624,000 and a median number of 52 days on the market. This is down 40.9 percent year over year (a great sign), but up 420 percent from last month, illustrating the slow-down from August to September.
In Alexandria as a whole, there were 422 closed sales, up 1.7 percent from last year but down 13.4 percent from last month, and the median sold price was $420,000 with an average of 48 days on the market.
This, as we know, is a crazy election year, so we’ll see how the trends align or depart from election years past. Until then, let us know if you have any questions about buying or selling! We’d love to generate a buying or selling timeline that works best for your individual needs.