For a summary of the real estate market in the metro DC area during 2011, click here: SS 2012 01. Here’s the first page:
For the January 2012 edition of “Dirt on the Market”, click: DOTM 2012 01 10.
Here’s an excerpt:
The red area on the graph below illustrates job growth in Loudoun County from January 2007 to July 2011 (as measured on the left axis). Over the period, 16,682 new jobs were added to the local economy for an average of 303 per month. While that is impressive in a down economy, the growth rate did slow dramatically. The blue line indicates month-over-year percentage growth since January 2007. For the first half of 2007, annual job growth hovered around 5 percent. For the next year, annual growth ranged from 3.9 to 4.9 percent. In the last quarter of 2008, growth steadily declined to about 3.2 percent.
Then the bottom fell out.
In January 2009, annual job growth plummetted to .7 percent. It was not until August of 2010 that annual job growth in Loudoun exceeded 1 percent. With a couple of exceptions, the growth rate has ranged from 1 to 2 percent since. The straight blue line indicates the long-term trend in job growth.
Given the downward trend, what is the good news?
Annual growth stayed positive over the entire period under very trying circumstances.
The same cannot be said for neighboring Fairfax County. As shown below, annual job growth was actually negative from November 2008 to December 2009 in Fairfax. The downturn started earlier in Prince William County. Like Loudoun, annual job growth there never fell below 0 percent but it hovered at less than 1 percent from November 2008 to December 2010.
It is interesting to note, in closing, the differences in growth between Loudoun and its neighbors. Loudoun’s job base was growing much faster than both Fairfax and Prince William counties from 2007 through 2008. It’s decline in January 2009 was much steeper than in Fairfax while Prince William was actually adding jobs. Since January 2010, the growth rate in all three counties has been exactly the same, every single month, even though the number of jobs is vastly different between the three.
Prices on the Rise
Last month there were no active listings in the Villages of Purcellville and there were three homes with pending contracts. None of those three have settled yet (two are short sales) and their average list price is $318,267. Whew, that’s low. The good news though is that three new listings have entered the market with an average list price of $404,000 (none are distressed sales). It seems that the community had to work through its short sales and now the market is back to a normal level.
There has been no change in the number of closings in Village of Purcellville since August (seven year-to-date closings). The year-to-date median sold price is $349,000, down 11 percent from the 2010 median. Sellers in 2011 had more modest expectations than in 2010; original list prices more accurately matched market conditions as seen in a much lower average price decrease. But, seller contributions increased 43 percent to an average of about $5,000. The time it takes to sell a home did improve though from an average of 99 days in 2010 to just 50 days through August 31, 2011.
Please call me if now is the time for you to sell your home. Prices are back! Let’s take advantage of low supply and high demand.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org; 540-454-6792; http://www.housinganalyst.net).
Sales Slump; Median Sales Prices Hang On
September 8, 2011
(Washington, DC) – So far this year, sales volume in the metropolitan Washington, DC existing home market is outperforming 2008, when the home sales bottomed out in this region, but cannot seem to build a head of steam. The region consists of Loudoun, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties; the cities of Manassas, Manassas Park, and Prince William County (PWAR); Arlington and Fairfax counties, the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church (NVAR); and the District of Columbia. The table below lists the January through August sales volume for each area for every year since 2006. Sales in the entire region are about 9 percent behind 2010 (recall though that the market was artificially stimulated during the first half of 2010 by the First Time Buyers Credit) but roughly 3 percent higher than at the end of August 2008.
Since 2006, sales volume in Loudoun County and NVAR have consistently declined, falling in 2011 by 21 percent and 22 percent respectively behind the January through August volume in 2006. The highest monthly volume is typically found in NVAR and Montgomery County; these two areas account for 51 percent of the region’s total sales volume in 2011. Both have seen volume declines in the last two years, strongly affecting the region totals.
The District and Virginia suburbs seem to be faring better than the Maryland suburbs. Montgomery County’s January through August sales volume is off by 31 percent compared to 2006 and in Prince George’s County, sales volume has declined 37 percent. The District has the best record with a decline compared to 2006 of only 17 percent. The Virginia suburbs’ declines range from 21 percent in Loudoun County compared to sales in 2006 and 27 percent in PWAR.
With the exception of Prince George’s County, the 2011 January through August median sales price beats both the 2009 and 2010 medians at the same time of year everywhere else in the region. The regional median of $330,000 is $85,000 less than it was at the end of August in 2006 but $20,000 higher than it was two years ago. The largest percentage increase since last year has been in Loudoun where the year-to-date median is now $380,000. NVAR leads the region with a median of $418,000 followed in second place by the District with a 2011 median of $399,900.
It takes longer to sell existing homes this year compared to last throughout the region. Last year the average days on market was 62 days in metro DC; this year the average is 71 days. The largest leap was in PWAR where an extra two weeks was added to the expected time to sell this year. It is interesting that even with the big jump, PWAR still has the lowest average in the region. Prince George’s County’s average exceeded 100 days four of the last eight months resulting in the highest average in the region.
The share of distressed sales so far this year has declined in every area except in Prince George’s County where 63 percent of 2011 sales were either short sales or bank owned properties. The lowest share is found in the District (14 percent) and it is below 30 percent in Loudoun, Montgomery and NVAR.
Given the disappointing sales in metro DC this year, it is encouraging to see that the monthly sales volume actually increased in August compared to July (albeit by only four units). With the exception of Loudoun, the component areas followed the usual trend – steady monthly sales volume declines through February of the following year. Since sales volume was alarmingly low in the second half of 2010 (following the expiration of the First Time Buyers Credit June 30th), it would be nice to see month-over-year increases through the end of 2011. The District and the northern Virginia suburbs did their part but August sales in Montgomery and Prince George’s fell behind August 2010 totals (-5 and -12 percent respectively).
For more detail, please see Metro DC EH Analysis 2011 08.