The Washington Metro housing market is not doing as well in 2014 as it did in 2013. This is no surprise, as housing is primarily a byproduct of job growth and the metro area continues to face challenges from Federal budget cuts. Only 6,000 new jobs were added during the 1-year period ending May 2014 vs. a 20-year average of 42,600, as cited in the Delta report: https://www.deltaassociates.com/media/files/1406225847q2-2014-retail-outlook.pdf)
Here in Arlington, the real estate market is going strong. The median sales price of $529,000 reflects a 5.85% increase over this time last year and a 10-year high for August!!!
Buyers also should be excited as the homes for sale inventory increased 50% over August 2013 levels. There were 593 active listings in 2014 vs. 393 in 2013. This is the highest number of available homes in for sale in August since 2011.
New listings continue to contribute to these rising inventory levels, with 309 new listings in August – the highest number for August in the last 5 years and a 13.2% increase over 2013. Here is a chart for rising inventory levels in Arlington, VA:
With higher levels of inventory, it makes sense that the average days an Arlington home is on the market rose — from 13 days in 2013 to 21 days in 2014. While it also is taking a bit longer to sell a home, it is a much shorter period when compared to DC Metro (43) days and other US markets.
Understandably, closed sales in August dropped by almost 20% from 291 a year before to 233 in 2014 – again, most likely reflecting the slow job growth in the metro area.
In summary, while the Arlington real estate market appears to reflect the region’s economic concerns with a lower number of closed sales, steady demand and an increasing median home price suggest that the market is still doing well — even though it is currently moving towards favoring the buyer. In addition, the GMU Center for Regional Analysis expects the Washington area job market to begin improving by the end of 2014, If the prediction comes true, we should see Arlington housing market grow even stronger in the months ahead.