First quarter 2019 went out like a lion on March 31 with breezy weather in Northern Virginia. The real estate market behaved similarly at the end of the first three months of the new year. The numbers have been tallied for real estate sales in McLean and Great Falls and indicate down year over year by 14 percent, 183 compared to 214. The good news is the market has considerably improved over 2009, a decade ago, which totaled only 108. The market shifts are likely due to several factors.
In many price segments, inventory levels are low relative to demand. This is particularly the case at the lower price points. In these market dynamics, buyers are faced with several options: raise their purchase price range, make concessions, or wait until more choices became available. There are those that sit on the sidelines, putting their move on hold in hopes that prices will soon be in line with their purchasing power and/or for more homes to become available.
Interest rates have remained steady and in some cases are back to historic lows. As interest rates rise, buyer’s purchasing power is affected. There can be a positive market impact as buyers have urgency to purchase and lock in their interest rate.
All brackets have improved considerably in comparison to the 2009 market a decade ago. The communities inside the Beltway continue to remain the strongest due to the most housing type options and proximity to D.C. metro center. Outside the Beltway McLean zip code of 22102 offers both condos in the Tysons market as well as estate style houses on large lots. That area has experienced either flat demand and in some cases is a bit down year over year. The 22066 Great Falls zip code remains generally steady year over year.
As we move into the spring real estate selling season of 2019, there are strong indications that homes priced well and in good condition will settle for solid prices. As demand continues to remain strong relative to supply, some market segments may experience price appreciation.
The relocation buyer is making a comeback to the Northern Virginia market area. McLean and Great Falls are top choices of communities in the metro region for schools, restaurants, culture, shopping, parks and other amenities.
Home buyers in the area can still purchase with the confidence that purchasing in an up market cycle frequently proves advantageous over time. For home sellers: now is the time to work with a professional agent if 2019 is your year to make a move.
Karen Briscoe with HBC Group at Keller Williams is an active and experienced Realtor® in the Northern Virginia market place. Karen, alongside her partner Lizzy Conroy and team, works with sellers, buyers, investors and builders in all price ranges. www.HBCGroupKW.com, 703-734-0192, Homes@HBCGroupKW.com.