Buyer’s Market? Nope, not in LoCo.

     Anything between 3 and 6 months is considered a balanced market

    With the mild winter weather, the spring real estate market is already showing signs of life in Loudoun County. Buyers are out and about, beginning to check out what homes are available. Sellers are deciding on pricing and when to list their homes as active on the market. And everyone thinking about a move, whether as a buyer or a seller, is trying to gauge the market to see where it’s trending.  If you are basing your thinking on the national news regarding the real estate market, you  are going to have a problem this spring: Loudoun County is NOT a buyer’s market. In fact, it’s edging very close to a seller’s market right now.

    (I’m going to give you a moment to digest that.)

    Sure, we’ve seen some articles recently that talk about how strong and insulated the Washington DC metro area  real estate market is, but I want to give it to you on a usable level…what’s happening in Montgomery and Prince George’s County (or heck, even Fauquier) doesn’t necessarily apply here. Looking at our absorption rate (the rate at which homes are selling) shows us that we have 3.9 months of inventory, and 3 months or less is a seller’s market.

    Absorption rate is calculated by taking the number of active listings and dividing it by the number of homes that have gone under contract within the last 30 days. Six months or more is a buyer’s market, 3 to 6 months is a balanced market, and under 3 months is a seller’s market.

    As of today, there are 1290 active listings, and 326 homes under contract in 30 days or less. That’s 3.95 months of inventory. (That matches with the most recent sales data from December, homes sold last month averaged just 69 days on market.) Now, that figure includes the new construction market. Some of those ‘active’ listings are just placeholder listings for models within communities: builders put in one active listing to represent all available lots with that model.  So their listings tend to skew the data on active homes.

    Looking strictly at the resale market, removing the new construction listings and contracts, there are only 893 homes for sale in ALL of Loudoun County right now. Resale contracts in the last 30 days total 254…which puts the resale absorption rate at 3.51 months of inventory. Even closer to a sellers’ market!

    What does that mean for you? If you are thinking about buying this spring, be prepared…if inventory levels do not increase, we will continue to see homes going under contract quickly, with the potential for multiple offer situations. (Yes, we have been seeing this for the last couple of months!) Be prepared and organized when you are doing your home search so that you can act quickly when you decide you are ready to offer on a home.

    As a seller? We are not going to see the run-up in pricing that accompanied the craziness of the market in 2004 and 2005.  However, you can expect that if your home is priced appropriately and is prepared for showing and sale, you should be able to successfully sell within 3 to 4 months at the most.

    Certainly, if everybody and their brother puts their home on the market next week and our inventory count goes drastically higher, that will affect our absorption rates for this spring.  This is obviously an overview for all of LoCo; different price points, home types, and neighborhoods will have different situations. If you want to know how this applies specifically to your home and your neighborhood (or the neighborhood you are looking to move to) you can click here to schedule a consultation.


    Median Home Price for Loudoun County

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    Michael and Heather Elias are full time real estate professionals and licensed REALTORS at Century 21 Redwood Realty. They sincerely hope you enjoy reading this blog, and would love the opportunity to work with you.

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