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Loudoun’s Real Estate Market Fizzles

More and More Homes Stay on the Market

More and more “For Sale” signs are popping up, and staying up, around Loudoun County.

Jill Landsman, Northern Virginia Association of Realtors' communications manager, said Loudoun County’s real estate market is experiencing a lull.

“For so many years, the market was going up, up, up,” Landsman said. “Now, it’s taking a step back.”

For the past three months, the numbers of homes for sale in Loudoun has increased and the average cost of homes has dropped.

“It’s not just happening here in Loudoun,” Landsman said. “It’s happening everywhere.”

Landsman said the lull is a natural one.

THERE WERE 2,778 homes on the market in Loudoun County in September 2005. In one year, that number has increased by 26 percent. Now, there are 4,174 homes on the market — 3,713 residential houses and 461 condominiums — going for an average $514,068.

Last year, the average home in Loudoun County went for $539,290, almost 5 percent more.

Across Northern Virginia, the cost of homes has dropped, too.

In September 2005, the average home in Northern Virginia sold for $543,170. Now, an average home goes for $512,152, a 5.71 percent decrease in price.

During the last few years, real estate agents had no problem selling homes at high costs.

Jeanette G. Newton, CEO of Dulles Area Association of Realtors, said the real estate market has cooled off for a number of reasons: price adjustments, consumer confidence and gas prices.

"For a while, the price of homes were out of sight," Newtown said. "Consumers finally said 'wow, that's enough!'"

Newton said the price adjustment needed to happen. The cost of Loudoun homes escalated faster than any other in the Washington, D.C.-metropolitan area, she said, and they've taken the biggest hit, too.

Once prices began to fall, consumers lost confidence and didn't want to enter the real estate market, Newtown said. In addition, gas prices have impacted how far home buyers are willing to commute to and from their jobs.

EVEN THOUGH the numbers of homes on the market have increased since last year, Landsman said not to worry.

“It’s expected to pick back up in the spring,” she said.

Spring is the busiest season for real estate agents and with mortgage rates holding steady and gas prices dropping, Landsman predicts the market will bounce back in a few months.

"We're not going to see the prices go down any further," Newton said.