Sales in Fairfax City in January remained sluggish with only nine of the 166 houses on the market going under contract. That is a 5% rate of sale, which implies a 20-month supply of homes on the market. That is in sharp contrast to the 14% rate houses are selling in Northern Virginia as a whole. The market seems to be picking up in general though as we head into February. I am seeing more buyers than I have the last couple of months out looking at houses, and writing offers on houses.
One major drag on the market right now are the amount of foreclosures and “short-sales” (these are sellers who are trying to sell their home at a price that is less than they owe on their mortgage and need to negotiate the shortfall with the holder of their mortgage). Buyers seem to be writing quite a few offers on these houses, but are having difficulty getting any response to their offers. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. The statistic is not available, but I wonder how many homes in Fairfax City have offers that simply haven’t been responded to because of the red tape involved in these sales. I have had buyer agents call me to check if my listings are short sales. They were only willing to show homes that were not short sales. That is a very interesting dynamic in the market right now.
Here are the statistics of homes going under contract for the past couple of years: