The statistics for 2018 real estate transactions in McLean and Great Falls have been tallied. The numbers are down year over year, with 1,096 total transactions compared to 1,214 the previous year. The good news is the market is considerably improved over 2008, a decade ago, which totaled only 749.
The shift in the market is likely due to several reasons.
First, interest rates have bounced around, but are up over historic lows. As interest rates rise, buyer’s purchasing power is affected. There can be a positive market effect as buyers have urgency to purchase and lock in their interest rate.
Second, in many price segments inventory levels are low relative to demand. In the lower price points, buyers do not have many choices available. Buyers are faced with several options in those market dynamics. In some cases home purchasers raise their price point, make concessions, or put the move on hold until more choices became available. Some sit on the sidelines and wait for prices to be in line with their purchasing power and/or for more homes to become available.
The midterm elections took place in November of 2019. Given that Northern Virginia is just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., the election cycle has more impact on this market area. Uncertainty in many cases causes buyers to put moving decisions on hold. Now that the elections have concluded, in many cases, the market picks back up.
All brackets have improved considerably in comparison to the 2008 market a decade ago.
Inside the Beltway, the McLean zip code of 22101 continues to remain the strongest due to the most housing type options and proximity to D.C. metro center. Outside the Beltway, the McLean zip code of 22102 offers condos in the Tysons market as well as estate-style houses on large lots. That area is a bit down year over year. Great Falls zip code 22066 remains generally flat year to date 2018 over 2017.
As we move into the new year of 2019, there are strong indications that homes priced well and in good condition will sell for solid prices. If demand continues to remain strong relative to supply, some market segments may experience price appreciation.
Home buyers in the area can still purchase with the confidence that purchasing in an up market cycle frequently proves advantageous over time. Now is the time to work with professional agent to be in your new home in 2019.
Karen Briscoe with HBC Group at Keller Williams is an active and experienced Realtor® in the Northern Virginia marketplace. 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.