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New Homes Sales Prices Increased

But sales volume drops precipitously

The Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration reported an increase in the median sales price of new single family homes sold in the first nine months of 2007. The price increased by 2.3 percent, to $960,000, over the 2006 median price of $938,768.

But the volume of new home sales in the same time period had dropped precipitously, the report said.

Sales of new homes sold have dropped steeply since 2005.

Sales of new single family homes from January through September 2007, for instance, total 359, a decline of 38.7 percent from the 586 sold during the same period of 2006.

The report said the sales price of new townhouses in the county increased 1.9 percent from the 2006 median of $564,400 to a median of $575,000 during the first nine months of 2007. But the sales volume had dropped through the floor, falling from 480 units, sold in 2006 to 205 units sold this year, a collapse of 57.3 percent.

Sales of previously owned single family residences were steadier. The report said that 4,670 were sold between January and September 2007, down only 3.9 percent from 4,858 sold in the same period of 2006. But 2006 volume was down sharply from the nearly 8,000 existing homes that were sold in 2005.

The report said the median sales prices of previously owned single family homes and townhouses declined marginally between January and September 2007 compared to the 2006 median sales price. The median sales price for single family homes declined from $625,000 in 2006 to $620,000 in 2007. The median sales price for existing town houses sold during the first nine months of 2007 fell to $415,000 from $420,000 in 2006.

The number of all existing and new condominiums sold in 2007 also dropped sharply. The number of condominiums sold declined 27.7 percent to 2,680 from 3,708 in 2006.

In the same nine months, the report said, the median sales price of condominiums — existing and new — decreased 1.3 percent to $305,092 from the 2006 median of $309,000.

The county report assured readers that changes in the median sales prices did not trigger new tax assessments. The "key factor," the report said, "is the relationship of assessments to selling prices within the neighborhood."

<b>FAIRFAX COUNTY UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS</b>

The Virginia Employment Commission reported that Fairfax County’s unemployment rate dropped from 2.2 percent in August to 2.0 percent in September. This is well below the national rate which was 4.7 percent and below Virginia’s 2.8 percent.

The number of employed county residents rose 8,661 from Sept. 2006 when the employment rate was 2.2 percent.

The commission said the drop in the unemployment rate "is due to strong employment growth in high tech and government contracting."