Western Loudoun County Analysis: 2011 08

What Housing Downturn?  Not Here!

According to the Metropolitan Regional Information Service (MRIS), 379 homes were sold in the Western Loudoun area (consisting of Middleburg, Purcellville, Round Hill, Hamilton, Lovettsville and Waterford) from January 1 to August 31, 2011.  That represents an 11.5 percent increase over the total sales volume in the first eight months of 2010 and a 24 percent increase over the sales volume over the same period in 2009.  This is especially encouraging since the 2010 market was artificially stimulated by the First Time Buyers Credit.  2011 did not enjoy that boost and is still outperforming 2010.

By contrast, January through August home sales in the entire county totaled 3,234 units, 5 percent behind the 2010 total at the same time and 9 percent behind the 2009 total.

The table below lists August sales and median sales prices by area. In the second half of the year, sales volume typically declines so it is not unexpected to see a 19 percent monthly decline in Western Loudoun in August.  The good news though is that sales in August beat the August 2010 total by 12.5 percent.  Purcellville continues to dominate Western Loudoun with 37 percent of total sales volume.

After a rare and dramatic decrease in July, the median sales price in Western Loudoun rebounded 26 percent from $335,000 to $422,500.  The year-to-date median sales price is $410,000 (equal to the 2010 median).  Compare that to $365,000 in Eastern Loudoun and $395,000 in Leesburg.  So far this year, 40 percent of home sales in Western Loudoun were priced between $200,000 and $399,999, 32 percent were priced $400,000 to $599,999 and 3 percent were priced above $1,000,000.

Other pertinent statistics include:

  • The average days on market spiked again in August, this time it reached 138 days, primarily due to the fact that five of the 54 total sales were on the market an especially long time – four took over a year to sell and one finally sold after more than three years.  However, five units also sold in less than 30 days, three in 30 to 59 days and 4 in 60 to 89 days;
  • Compare the 138 day average in August in Western Loudoun to 45 days in Eastern Loudoun and 47 days in Leesburg;
  • So far this year, the average days on market in Western Loudoun is 134 days, 9 percent higher than the 2010 average;
  • The average close price to average original list price ratio measures sellers’ willingness to negotiate price.  In August, the ratio fell to 90.5 percent from 91.9 percent in July.  The comparable ratio in Eastern Loudoun was 96.9 percent and in Leesburg it was 95.7 percent;
  • In August, 50 of the 54 Western Loudoun sales were single family detached homes with an average close price of $459,420.  Interestingly, four townhomes sold last month – two in Middleburg – with an unusually high average sold price of $404,999;
  • Perhaps a plentiful supply is the secret to Western Loudoun’s success this year.  One would normally think that the market is oversupplied when inventory levels are at 7.3 months but sales here are outperforming Eastern Loudoun and Leesburg which have much lower inventory levels (2.4 and 3.5 months respectively); and
  • The year-to-date share of short sales and foreclosures (24.8 percent share of total sales) in 2011 rose slightly in August.  Middleburg and Waterford have had only one distressed sale each so far this year explaining their low shares while the percentage exceeds 23 percent in the other local areas.

Spotlight on Hamilton

Through the end of August 2011,

  • 43 homes have sold in Hamilton this year, 16 percent higher than over the same period in 2010 and a remarkable 48 percent higher than the 2009 total;
  • The August median sales price was $465,000, 58 percent higher than the July median;
  • On average, the days on market for the homes sold in August was 87;
  • The close price to list price ratio was 91.4 percent in August, slightly better than the Western Loudoun average;
  • So far this year, 24 percent of Hamilton sales have been distressed;
  • The average close price for the four detached homes sold in August was $491,725; and
  • The supply of available inventory amounted to 5.4 months.

Fortunately, Western Loudoun’s very low median sales price in July remedied itself in August and sales volume continues to amaze. Even though houses take much longer to sell than elsewhere in the county, who would’ve thought Western Loudoun would be boasting such a good 2011 record?

Rosemary deButts, Realtor, is associated with Atoka Properties located in historic Purcellville. She has the Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification and is a Member, Institute of Residential Marketing. Rosemary earned her degree in Economics from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and her MBA from Old Dominion University.  For more information on the Western Loudoun housing market and guidance in buying or selling a home, contact Rosemary today (rosemary@atokaproperties.com; 540-454-6792; http://www.housinganalyst.net).                        


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