When you look at long term trends in the Real Estate Market here in Northern Virginia, one thing has consistently remained true over the last couple of years. The number of listings on the market has consistently gone down. In the Northern Virginia area, the number of houses on the market was down 28% from November 2008, which itself was down 14% from November 2007.
This problem is compounded by the number of short sales on the market. Though many short sale listings are selling now, a large part of the market ignores short sales. People who need a house by a certain date or who hope to move in a reasonable amount of time ignore short sales. Short Sales have been confined to the investor market and to people who can be extremely flexible due to their current living situation.
Today in Fairfax County there are 2,424 houses listed for sale (If you compare with the chart below, note that the chart has how many were listed the entire month, but each days total will be smaller). Of those 2,424 only 2,002 are NOT short sales. So about 17% of the market is ignored by most buyers. A buyer looking to buy in Fairfax County ( a county of over 1,000,000 people) today has only about 2000 houses to choose from, and that is in all price ranges.
In the $200K-$350K price range, 34% of listings on the market are short sales. At $350K-$500K the number is $19%. So if you look in a given market like Burke (with lots of townhomes and inexpensive detached homes normally), you’ll find there are only 6 houses for sale under $350K that are not short sales. If a house is not selling in a couple weeks in this atmosphere, it’s just overpriced. Buyers are fighting over correctly priced homes.
Below is the usual chart with the month of November added:
Written by Jeff Royce of Frankly Real Estate, Inc. Fairfax, VA, 703-585-5663