Everybody is trying to figure out what the real estate market is doing right now and having a hard time. Looking at sales numbers is like looking at the home run numbers of your favorite baseball slugger earlier in the decade and trying to figure out if he would have deserved making it into the hall of fame had he not taken steroids.
The national real estate market just came off the steroids of an $8,000 tax credit paid to first time home buyers and a slightly smaller one paid to move-up buyers. Of course the market isn’t doing as well as it was when the government was handing out money. But ever since the tax credit ended on April 30, the Northern Virginia market has been selling about 25% of it’s inventory each month which correlates to a 4 month supply of homes on the market. That is a fairly fast (though not on fire) selling market by any measure. That tells me that there are still buyers who need homes and there is not a fire sale going on among people in financial difficulty. In other words we have a pretty even, steady market in Northern Virginia as a whole.
As you look at the numbers below for the various jurisdictions, keep in mind that the sales numbers are for houses going under contract, and the pricing numbers are for closed sales. So the large number of sales you see in April were actually closing in May and June. The tax credit inflated sales numbers in April, and inflated closing prices in May and June. July should show us a market that is not influenced by the credit and therefore should become the new baseline month for the future.
Here are the actual numbers:
Written by Jeff Royce of Frankly Real Estate, Inc. Fairfax, VA, 703-585-5663