Arlington, VA real estate updates during coronavirus pandemic
Here we are – in a middle of a pandemic with lots uncertainty about the future of our economy and values of real estate. On this page you will find Arlington, VA real estate market updates during this crazy time – as I see them relevant.
August 2020 Briggman Market Watch: House inventory rose in Arlington, VA – especially for condos
Real estate market in Arlington, VA is continuing to shift.
First things first – the basics of any market is supply and demand. As you can see in the chart below the inventory is increasing – especially condos. We’ve had 1 or less month of inventory of homes since Amazon’s announcement in November, 2018 and for the first time ever we are getting to close 2 months, and condo inventory is the highest it’s been since about 3 years ago (it’s marked in yellow in the chart). So if you have a condo to sell – this is not the best news. Price drops are likely.
Number of active listings in Arlington, VA increased by 75% in comparison to last August – from 226 to 397! Buyers should be dancing around! New contracts are up by 50% (from 196 to 296).
Interest rates are still at their lowest in history – hovering around 3% – making purchasing extremely attractive to buyers. Average Sales price in Arlington was up 11% from August 2019 from $620,000 to $688,000, but down from July $722,500.
What about pandemic? Are sellers holding off because of it? Are buyers hesitant to look? I’m sure some people are, but most of us have gotten used to this new world and are willing to take some risks to improve our living situations. Many sellers have been moving out before putting their homes on the market, everyone is using masks and avoiding overlapping showing appointments, in-person open houses are rare, but starting to pop up.
So what does it all mean?
Increasing inventory levels means that the market is stabilizing and looking for real estate won’t feel like looking for toilet paper in April any more! And it’s especially relevant to condo sales – condos won’t be flying off the shelves they way they were – you will actually have to present them well and convince buyers that they are a reasonable investment – even during pandemic. These are overall trends and every neighborhood and condo building have their own supply and demand chart. That’s why you need an expert!
Thinking about buying or selling? Contact me and we can talk about what makes sense for your situation!
How was Arlington, VA real estate market in July, 2020?
The market has certainly shifted – and in a big way:
- The inventory of available homes in Arlington doubled from 0.9 months in July, 2019 to 1.8 months of inventory in July 2020! It means that buyers had more homes to choose from and didn’t have to compete as fiercely as a year ago. 1.8 months of inventory means the market is heading towards a more balanced state (2.5 months is balanced in Arlington), prices should not be increasing as fast and not all properties will be getting multiple offers. The last time we had 2 months if inventory was November, 2018. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.
- We had 446 new listings come on the market vs. 258 a year ago. That’s 73% increase!!! Why? Last year homeowners were holding onto properties due to Amazon’s announcement – it looked like their Arlington real estate investments were going to skyrocket for years to come, but with a lot of uncertainty about the post-pandemic economic future – a lot of them are not as confident. I think a lot of us are getting used to the pandemic at this point as well, understand how to protect ourselves and have been hearing good real estate news – so people are more confident in listing and dealing with the new reality. It is probably better to list now than next year. There’s no way Arlington is not going to be affected by this economic slowdown.
- Average SOLD price increased by 20% vs. last year from $685,000 to $828,000! That’s a large upswing. Not all properties increased by 20% – most increases are for detached homes and townhomes. Condos are registering a 5% increase overall.
4. We had a dramatic -35% drop in total number of sales in May due to COVID – a couple of months later we actually have a 6.39% increase in July vs. 2019 (283 vs. 266 sales).
So what does the future hold?
Real estate market is holding strong here in Arlington, but with increasing inventory levels – I expect the prices to level off. The interest rates are too good for buyers not to buy – so I expect the demand will continue – as long as people can keep their jobs. Will they keep their jobs? It’s very much a white-color community doing a ton of government contracting work – I think the government will probably continue the contracts – at least for now. Amazon just rented some more office space here in Arlington – maybe the economy won’t be hit as hard as I expect. If you are thinking about selling – I think now is a good time to do that, because we probably will see some foreclosures and short-sales once people have to start paying their mortgages again (landlords haven’t been able to evict non-paying renters and can only carry properties for so long without rental income, and unemployed homeowners have been given 1 year off from mortgage payments). If you are thinking about buying, have a good amount if cash for down payment and are secure in your job – you might want to wait a little till the market is less competitive, but if you have no money for downpayment – now is the time – as money is so cheep. I am here for any questions! Call me/test me at 703-217-2077 if you are looking to buy or sell in Arlington, VA!
How was May?
Arlington had 187 sold homes in April, 2020 vs. 289 in 2019 and 325 in 2018. That is a 35% drop in comparison to last year.
Active listings in May this year were 249 vs. 289 last year.
Average sales price is still rising – I will have exact numbers after June 15th, when official numbers are out.
Still very strong sellers market – we need more listings! You can see how low the supply of homes is in this chart. We need at least 2 months for the market to stabilize.
If you are thinking about selling – please call me today at 703-217-2077 and we can discuss the best strategy during this crazy time! Buyers – prepare to compete for any good listing – even in the middle of pandemic.
What is happening in Arlington, VA real estate world?
Arlington had 197 sold homes in April 2020 vs. 287 in 2019. That’s a 31% drop. But it’s a lot more than ZERO sales – which is what many people are thinking is happening.
Active listings in April this year were 254 vs. 245 in 2019. Very similar amount of inventory.
There were 41 listings in “Temporarily Off market” status – which means Arlington sellers are waiting to see what the market is going to do and when it would be safe to resume showings and the sale.
Arlington still has a lot of pent-up demand from last year and we are still experiencing a very strong seller’s market. I just settled a buyer who purchased in the middle of pandemic and had to beat 4 other offers, and paid 35k over the asking price.
There are companies providing disinfecting services after the weekend of showings – which can put some sellers at ease. I would gladly pay for this service for any of my sellers – just ask!
My townhome listing at 4097 Columbia Pike had 4 offers and went under contract in 4 days – please see the link here. We are waiting for settlement and expecting to close above list price. Call me today at 703-217-2077 for a free virtual consultation so I can guide you through the process and help you figure out the best strategy for the sale of your Arlington home!
- Our MLS data for March shows that inventory levels in Arlington are still at 1 month – which indicates a very strong seller’s market… many buyers are still looking, real estate market is very much alive:
2. March 2020 had the same number of new listings on the market as March 2019, but new contracts are down by 11% from 280 to 249.
3. Looking for a deal already? Not so fast – Arlington homes are still selling above list price.
4. My colleagues reported a number of appraisal issues for their transactions – appraisers started taking into account the uncertainty of the future into their valuations.
5. Here are the numbers for the activity in Arlington since the beginning of pandemic.
- Governor Northom announced “Shelter in Place” for Virginia, but real estate services are still considered “essential” – so we are still working and selling homes.
- Homes are still selling – I just submitted an offer for my client on a townhome in South Arlington and we had to compete with 3 other offers and are under contract for a lot more than the sales price.
- Interest rates have gone up since a week ago and continue to be the wild card in the market.
- March 31st we had 79 listings on Temporary of the market or Withdraw status – that’s 28% of total inventory and is a high number. This decreases the supply which might keep prices high.
- Here are the activity for Arlington real estate in the last week – you can see an increase in withdrawn and temporarily withdrawn listings.
- Please read the George Mason Fuller Institute report on affects of coronavirus pandemic in Washington DC economy here.
- No significant changes in real estate numbers since yesterday.3. Drastic decrease in showing activity: the average number of showings per listing in Arlington have dropped each of the last four weeks from 10.44 showings four weeks ago to 2.91 showings this past week.
- Homes are still selling in Arlington! 55 homes went to “pending” status in the last 7 days. (Last school day in Arlington was 3/13/2020)
- Open houses are very unlikely – look for photos and ask for virtual tours from the listing agent.
- BE CAREFUL and assess your own risk when listings and seeing homes – the virus can stay in the air and on surfaces from hours to days. It is YOUR responsibility to protect yourself – not seller’s, buyer’s or their agents’. Good listings still get a ton of traffic, but shortages of masks, gloves and hand sanitizer makes it difficult to provide homes with protective equipment.
- My office – KW Metro Center is closed to the public, but it open for private appointments.
- Here are the statistics numbers for Arlington Co today – I will be keeping track of this daily:
5. Mortgage interest rates have been fluctuating like mad on a daily basis. Buyers usually have a limit to what they can qualify for and what mortgage payment they can afford. Locking your rate in a timely manner is important. This uncertainty will scare away a few buyers, but they would risk higher interest rates after the pandemic.So what does the future look like? We don’t know yet. Recession is coming, but Arlington is a lot more resilient than other parts of the country.