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.
Briggman Marker Watch – Arlington Real Estate January 2021
Single family home boom!
A new market trend is sweeping through Arlington and the surrounding areas – an absolute lack of single family home inventory – the demand for single family homes is HUGE and the prices are soaring. Townhomes are not too far behind. And condos are just hanging in there – nothing crazy is going on in this market. If you look at the demand and supply chart below – you will see that single family home inventory is under 1 month (in red) – which is very very low. We need to be at 2.5 months to be in balance.
I am also hearing rumors of 20-30 offers on single family homes out in Loudoun County – and that is crazy. Just last weekend I put it offers for the same client on 4 different homes in Fairfax Co to just be outbid by 20, 8 and 6 different offers. My client wasn’t just offering the list price, but we didn’t go crazy either (against my advice!). Only going crazy (no inspections, appraisals and very high price escalations) is going to get you a nice house today. Why is this happening? Why is suburbia having this Renaissance? Why condos are lagging? I think it’s very much pandemic related. Many people are optimistic that working remotely is going to continue – so they aren’t worrying about the traffic and commuting as much. The pandemic also has people searching for more space – apartment and condo living has been brutal for many. Record low interest rates and savings due to lack of entertainment and vacations have people shopping of homes. There were many people who postponed their home search to this year, because 2020 was full of uncertainty. How does this end? I am not sure. Once interest rates go up (not projected this year) the craziness should slow down, but there are A LOT of people wanting to buy a home and we don’t have enough homes – so this isn’t going to go away quickly. It’s probably a trend for the next few years.
Poor Arlington condo market
Why Arlington condos are lagging? Well, city living hasn’t been fun lately – no need for Metro, restaurant experience is limited, communal living and sharing elevators with neighbors during a pandemic is also not so great. I think the biggest thing – due to remote learning at surrounding universities – we had a huge drop in student housing demand. I think condo demand will come back, but we need to hang in there and wait for the life to be back to “normal” or the “new normal”.
Take a look at available homes in Arlington this January vs. the last 2 years. Available condos in Jan 2020 were 64 and in Jan 2021 – 283. That is a 343% increase!!! I know everyone is rushing to buy single family homes or townhomes, but maybe you should be looking at condos.
So dear owners of single family homes – if you are thinking about selling – NOW it’s a very very good time do so. Same goes for townhomes as well. And you, poor buyers, buckle up – it is going to be a wild ride. And I am here to help if you are buying or selling! Contact me here.
Briggman Market Watch – Arlington Real Estate Overview for 2020
2020 had a very good start, but the pandemic slowed things down in March. And then everyone started moving in the summer. We finished strong even though the condos are not selling as hot cakes any more. Interest rates are at absolutely all time lows hovering around 2.5% – pretty much everyone refinance or are in the process of doing so (including myself).
So how are the numbers?
The number of total homes sold is about the same as the previous year: 2790 (2020) vs. 2782 (2019)
Average and median sales prices are up! Average sales price is up 11.63% (increased from $703,641 to $785,459) Median sales price went up 8.44% (increased from $610,000 to $661,500)
Homes sold at about 99.6% of the sales price.
Real estate is a market based on supply and demand – below you can see the chart of “Months of Supply” – which is a measure for supply and demand for real estate. As you can see in the chart below – the home inventory (blue) started increasing in July – mostly because of the condos. Condo inventory reach 3 months (yellow) – we haven’t had this much inventory since 2016! So condo market is not as hot as it was. But single family home inventory is still so low (red) – which prices will continue to go up.
The prediction for 2021 is a very good real estate market. The interest rates will continue to be low – which will keep prices high as buyers will be able to afford more. If you own a townhome or a single family home – good news for you – the inventory is so low and the demand is very high, even for luxury homes – prices will continue to go up. If you are a buyer – you might get a good deal on a condo, but not so much on a townhome or a single family home.
Contact me today and tell me about your situation. Would love to help you navigate and not make any mistakes with these big transactions!
October 2020 Briggman Market Watch: We had 116% more homes for sale in Arlington, VA in October 2020 vs. 2019!
Condo inventory is continuing to rise in Arlington, VA and in DC Metro overall. The District of Columbia has a very similar situation – if not identical – see below.
Here is the month of home inventory chart for the last 3 years in Arlington, VA:
Here is the same chart for DC:
I wonder if this is a long term trend – as real estate pricing is becoming unaffordable and remote employment is becoming a norm.
I also noticed that condo rental prices are declining and rental supply is increasing in Arlington as well.
The number of available homes for sales has increase tremendously (by 116%!!!!!):
And number of SOLD homes has increased by 25% in comparison to the same time last year.
Median SOLD price increased by 16% for Arlington, VA real estate in 2020 vs. 2019 ( $672,500 vs $579,500)
Condo prices are still holding on strong, but I expect price reductions. At 3.5 months of condo inventory prices are certainly not going up. Unique and highly desirable condos are still selling – I just had 5 offers on my Penthouse listing at the Williamsburg condo in Courthouse, Arlington.
Interest rates are at historic lows and will continue this way well into 2021.
We had Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist for Virginia Realtors as our guest at our KW Metro Center team meeting and she shared very similar trends. She also said that no big wave of foreclosures is expected – as I was worried about. Our economy has been bouncing back very quickly.
I am expecting a seasonal slow down for the holidays, but 2021 should be a very busy and active market.
Contact me today to discuss your real estate needs!
September 2020 Briggman Market Watch: Housing inventory is continuing to rise and condos hit a 4 year high of 3 month inventory
That’s just the trend – there are more homes coming on the market and they are not all of them are selling. Last year we had 262 available listings on September 31st, 2019 and this year 501. That’s a 91% increase! New contracts went up only about 10% from 237 to 260. Which means – the prices are going to stabilize, even with the low interest rates. Condos are the most vulnerable segment and will see a significant change in salability.
Average sales price went up from $705,000 to $826,000 and Median sales price went up from $590,000 to $710,000 for the month of September, 2020. I think it’s very much driven by the record low interest rates. So it is better to sell now than a year ago, just good luck selling!
Here’s a chart of inventory levels for different Arlington housing types: condos, townhomes, single family homes and overall:
As we coming to the holiday season I expect the market to slow down – that’s a regular yearly trend, even during pandemic. It will be interesting to see how election results will affect Arlington real estate.
On the other hand – best homes always sell – in any market. So put your best foot forward, make your home look great, price it right and it will sell. And I am here if you need help.
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.