Subdivision Analysis: Villages of Purcellville 2011 08 16

No Active Listings = No Competition!

There are no active listings in the Villages of Purcellville.  Three homes have pending contracts with an average list price of $318,267.  Two of the three are short sales and the average days on market was 187 days.

Three homes sold in the Villages in July to bring the year-to-date total up to seven closings.  One sold for $412,000 while the other two sold for $330,000 and $349,000.  The year-to-date median sold price is $349,000, down 11 percent from the 2010 median.  Sellers have clearly moderated their expectations; the average price decrease has escalated dramatically this year compared to last.  Compounding the issue, seller contributions have 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 July 31, 2011.

Please call me if now is the time for you to sell your home.  Be the only option for folks looking for the small town charm of Purcellville and the convenience of your highly desirable neighborhood.


Loudoun County Housing Update: 2011 07

Share of Distressed Sales Plummets

MRIS, the multiple listing service handling Loudoun County existing home sales and records, began requiring agents to designate distressed sales (short sales and bank-owned properties) in the first quarter of 2009 at the height of the foreclosure crisis in this area.  At the time, 47 percent of Loudoun’s total home sales were distressed. Since then, the share of distressed sales has trended down and as of July 31, 2011, the share was only 20 percent here in Loudoun County.  The graph below summarizes the monthly share of distressed sales since May 2009 and the red line indicates the overall trend.

Compare the July result in Loudoun to other areas in the metropolitan DC region:

Metro DC Share of Distressed Sales (July 2011)

  • Loudoun = 20 percent
  • Fairfax County and city, Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church = 13 percent
  • Prince William, Manassas, Manassas Park = 35 percent
  • Prince George’s County, MD = 57 percent
  • Montgomery County, MD = 18 percent
  • District of Columbia = 9 percent

Existing home sales activity typically begins to decline in Loudoun County in July. 2011 was no exception but it did not post as sharp a decline from June to July this year as it did last year.  Recall that the First Time Buyers Credit expired on June 30, 2010.  Sales in the third quarter of 2010 suffered mightily last year.  From June to July 2010, sales declined 30 percent from 577 units to 404.  This year the decline amounted to 21 percent, from 574 units to 452.  While that is good news, sales volume in July 2011 was the second lowest since 2006.  The county is on pace to end the year with 5 percent fewer sales than last year and has the lowest year-to-date volume in six years (at least).  There was a rare phenomenon in July…sales volume increased significantly in Western Loudoun (+12 percent) to reach a six year high.  Both Eastern Loudoun and Leesburg had the more typical declines (-23 and -3 percent respectively).

Prices though are a bright spot.  Over the last four consecutive months, the monthly median sales price in Loudoun has outpaced the median from the corresponding month in 2010.  It suffered a slight decline in July, from $400,000 in June to $389,000, but was 2 percent higher than the July 2010 median ($382,000).  It was wonderful that Western Loudoun volume increased but the problem was that the median sales price there dropped a full $100,000.  Since sales in Western Loudoun only accounted for 15 percent of the county’s total, its 23 percent median sales price decline resulted in an overall county median sales price decrease of only 3 percent.

Other July results include:

  • The average seller contribution was $3,656, about equal to the 2011 average of 3,681;
  • Average days on market was 52 days falling below the corresponding month in 2010 for the first time this year and the 2011 average is 24 percent higher than the 2010 average;
  • In 2011, 55 percent of sales were detached homes, 40 percent were attached homes and 5 percent were condominiums;
  • The average close price for detached homes was $523,882 in July;
  • The average close price for attached homes was $308,613;
  • The average close price for condominiums was $175,760;
  • The 2011 average attached home and condominium monthly sales were down 10 percent and 33 percent respectively from the 2010 monthly average;
  • Even though detached and attached prices were slightly higher in July than the 2010 average, the average condominium price was 5 percent lower than the 2010 average;
  • The number of active listings has stabilized in the 1,500 range over the last four months;
  • Pending sales declined 20 percent from June (377 vs. 473 in June and 488 last July);
  • For the fourth consecutive month, the average close price to original list price ratio exceeded 95 percent; and
  • The month’s supply of inventory amounted to 3.4 months for the entire county and was only 2.7 months in Eastern Loudoun (posting the fourth consecutive month less than 3 months).

For more detail on the Loudoun County housing market, please see:  Loudoun County Housing Analysis 2011 07

Western Loudoun County Analysis: 2011 07

Record Breaking Home Sales in July

According to the Metropolitan Regional Information Service (MRIS), the 67 home sales during July  in the Western Loudoun area (consisting of Middleburg, Purcellville, Round Hill, Hamilton, Lovettsville and Waterford) increased 12 percent from June and reached its highest monthly level in at least four years.  In fact, 2011 sales through July have outpaced total sales from January to July 2010 by 11 percent and beat the 2009 total through July by 23 percent.  In a typical year, the highest monthly sales in Western Loudoun are posted in June or July so we can expect monthly sales to decline through the rest of the year.

By contrast, home sales declined from 574 units in June to 452 in July for the entire county (-23 percent).

The table below lists July sales by area. Purcellville regained its dominance by posting 39 percent of the total sales last month in Western Loudoun in addition to a 53 percent increase over June and an 86 percent increase over last July.  Middleburg’s five sales in July represented a 400 percent increase over the one sale it had last July.

Although Western Loudoun posted stellar home sales in July, the median sales price took a huge hit.   The  median in both May and June was $435,000 in Western Loudoun.  In July, it dropped 23 percent and $100,000 to $335,000.  A whopping 51 percent of the increased number of sales in July were priced between $200,000 and $399,999 and only one home sold at a price higher than $1,000,000.  Compare that to June when only 33 percent of sales were priced in the $200,000 to $399,999 range and 3 homes sold for more than $1,000,000.   The good news though is that the year-to-date median sales price only decreased $5,000 from June to $410,000 which is equal to the 2010 median.  The median sales price more than doubled last month in Middleburg, the only Western Loudoun area to see a month-over-month increase.  Although not shown above and interestingly, the year-to-date median sales price in Waterford is $749,000 while it is only $550,000 in Middleburg.

Typically,  homes in Western Loudoun are on the market longer than those in other areas of the  county.  For example, the average days on market in Western Loudoun during July 2011 amounted to 87 days, down from a revised  114 days in June and 60 days last July. By contrast, homes sold in only 41 days on average in Eastern Loudoun during July  while the average was just 61 days in Leesburg.  Since January 2010, the lowest  average in Western Loudoun occurred last July (60 days) and the highest was in January 2010 (235 days).

Thirty homes (45 percent) sold in 30 days or less last month with an average close price of $350,480.  Compare that to 52 percent across the entire county with an average close price of $401,527.  There were three closings in Western Loudoun during July that took longer than a year to sell; the average close price of these units was $786,000.  They combined with three others in Eastern Loudoun and Leesburg to bring the county total to six units during July that were on the market over a year; the average close price of all six was $713,750.

Like sales totals, the days on market indicator varies significantly by individual market.  Lovettsville had the lowest July average with 43 days while the average in Middleburg was 208 days (one of the five was on the market 508 days).

The average close price to original list price ratio may reflect two things: sellers’ ability to accurately price their homes to match market conditions and/or their  willingness to negotiate price.  The ratio decreased in July to 91.9 percent from a revised 94.9 percent in June.  Western Loudoun normally has the lowest close price to original list price ratio; it was 96.5 percent in Eastern Loudoun and 94.8 percent in Leesburg last month.  Here in the west, the lowest ratio occurred in Hamilton (86.0 percent) and the highest was found in Waterford (94.2 percent).

In June, eight townhouses sold in Western Loudoun at an average price of $209,113.  The average price for the 59 detached homes sold last month was $426,211. Condominiums are not a factor in Western Loudoun.

The year-to-date share of short sales and foreclosures (24.6 percent distressed sales) in 2011 is the result of five consecutive months of declines from February to June.  Compare that 24.6 percent to this time last year when the year-to-date share of distressed sales was 34.9 percent.   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.

Even though the month’s supply of inventory reached its lowest point this year in July at 5.8 months, it is considerably higher in Western Loudoun than elsewhere in the county.  Note that the months of supply in Eastern Loudoun was 2.7 months during July and it was 4.0 months in Leesburg.  West of Leesburg, Waterford had the highest available inventory at 18.5 months and Round Hill had the lowest at 4.1 months of supply in July.

Spotlight on Round Hill

Through the end of July, 69 homes sold in Round Hill this year representing 21 percent of the Western Loudoun total.  That’s an average of about 10 homes per month which matches the 2010 pace.  The year-to-date median sales price was $370,000 at the end of July, -1 percent from the 2010 median of $373,000.   About 51 percent of Round Hill’s 2011 sales were priced between $200,000 and $399,999, another 25 percent were in the $400,000 to $599,999 range.  The average days on market in Round Hill was 115 days in June; it declined to 86 days in July.   The close price to original list price ratio was 93.9 percent in July, a far cry from 64.3 percent in February.  So far this year, 30 percent of Round Hill sales were distressed (one of the highest ratios in Western Loudoun) but the month’s supply of inventory, at only 4.1 months, is the lowest in the west and suggests it may be on the verge of being undersupplied.

Western Loudoun had a shocking number of sales in July, posting the highest monthly sales figure in years, something the county as a whole cannot claim.  However, the dramatic decline in the median sales price is troubling and hopefully a one-month anomoly.

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 (; 540-454-6792;                        


Old Dominion Valley Subdivision Analysis

Significant Improvement in 2011

In all of 2010, only two homes sold in Purcellville’s Old Dominion Valley neighborhood.  So far in 2011, four homes have changed hands.  Even more important though is that the year-to-date median sales price in Old Dominion Valley is $428,000, $48,000 and 13 percent higher than the 2010 median of $380,000.  Last year, list prices were reduced an average of 3.5 percent ($14,500) before receiving a contract; this year the average price decrease is only $2,275 or .5 percent (an 84 percent drop from last year).  Average seller contributions have declined 16 percent this year to $6,750.  The average time to sell dropped from 113 days in 2010 to 39 days in 2011.  One of the two sales last year was a bank-owned property and the other was a standard (non-distressed) sale.

There were only two active listings in Old Dominion Valley as of August 2nd.  The current average list price is very low, only $390,300.  That’s because one of the active listings is a bank-owned property offered at $370,700.  The remaining standard active listing has an asking price of $409,900.   They have been on the market an average of 93 days.

The one pending sale is a short sale that had a contract in just fourteen days at a list price of $419,900.

If now is the time for you to move, I would be honored to help you sell your home and/or answer any questions you may have about the real estate market here in Loudoun County.

Look for my new column in The Purcellville Gazette:  “The Dirt on the Market”


Month’s Supply of Inventory by Price Range 2011 06

Not Enough Inventory for Homes Priced below $800,000

The cluster of columns on the far right of the graph below illustrates the month’s supply of inventory in Loudoun County for all price ranges.  A market is generally considered to be in equilibrium (there is enough supply to satisfy demand) when the MSI equals four to five months.  As you can see, Loudoun County is undersupplied in the eastern portion of the county and in Leesburg.  However, there is enough supply in western Loudoun by virtue of its 6.4 month’s of supply.

If we break this down by price range, we can see that all three areas are undersupplied at list prices below $200,000.  Further, eastern Loudoun and Leesburg are undersupplied at all prices below $800,000.  Western Loudoun has a healthy supply of inventory for homes priced $200,000 to $599,999 but becomes oversupplied with homes priced over $600,000 and it is severely oversupplied with homes priced in excess of $1,000,000 (only four homes priced $1,000,000 or more have sold in all of Loudoun County this year, all in Waterford).

As of July 7th, there were 20 active listings in eastern Loudoun, 69 in Leesburg and 77 in western Loudoun priced over $1,000,000.  Compare that to the 50 listings for homes priced below $200,000 (21 in eastern Loudoun, 23 in Leesburg and 6 in western Loudoun) at the same time.

This analysis confirms that Loudoun County continues to suffer from a shortage of supply that is severely constraining existing home sales.

The month’s supply of inventory is calculated by dividing the active listings in a particular area (snapshot of activity) by the sales in that area over the previous month.  The definition of active listings excludes rentals and pending sales (those with contingencies or contracts) in this analysis.  Close prices are used for the sales and current list prices are used for the active listings to group them by price range.


YTD Distressed Sales 2011 07 26

Share of Distressed Sales on the Decline in Loudoun County

The graph below illustrates the aggregate number of short sales and foreclosures (bank-owned properties) along with the percentage of total existing home sales that were distressed in Loudoun County this year.  Totals are also presented for the three areas within Loudoun County.  So far this year, less than 30 percent of the total existing home sales in Loudoun County were distressed.  By contrast, at the end of June in 2010, the share of distressed sales was 34 percent.  Unlike other counties in the metropolitan Washington, DC market, short sales outpace foreclosures; 68 percent of all distressed sales so far this year were short sales and the remaining 32 percent were bank-owned properties.

Short Sales 

Short sales in Loudoun accounted for 18 percent of total sales this year.  In Eastern Loudoun, 20 percent of 2011 sales were short sales; the same figure in Leesburg was 17 percent and it was 13 percent in Western Loudoun.

Foreclosures (Bank-Owned Properties)

There is a different dynamic for bank-owned properties.  So far this year, 11 percent of total sales were foreclosures in Loudoun County and in the subsets of  Eastern Loudoun and Leesburg as well.  The share in Western Loudoun was 12 percent with the total number of short sales about equal to the total number of foreclosures there.


Subdivision Analysis: Villages of Purcellville 2011 07 25

Prices Vary Widely

Six homes have now sold this year in the Villages of Purcellville at close prices ranging from $330,000 to $412,000.  One of the two sales so far in July had a close price that was $5,000 higher than its asking price and the other was the second home to sell this year at a price in excess of $400,000.  The median was unchanged from my June analysis ($339,000) and it is 13.5 percent lower than the 2010 median.  However, the average days on market indicator continued its stark improvement; it declined to 55 days from 68 in June and is 44 percent lower than the 2010 average.  The close price to original list price ratio also improved; it increased from 94.6 percent in June and from 95.2 percent in 2010 to 96 percent in July.  The average seller subsidy declined 8 percent from June but is 19 percent higher than the average in 2010. One third of the 2011 sales in the Villages have been short sales while none of the nine sales in 2010 were distressed.

There is only one active listing in the neighborhood at this point. A standard sale, it has been on the market for 145 days at an asking price of $399,900.  Two of the three homes with pending contracts are short sales; that explains the unusually low list prices of $259,900 and $295,000.  All three were on the market an average of 142 days before receiving a contract.

With the extremely low list prices for the two pending short sale listings, the 2011 median and average close prices in the Villages will decline.  The good news though is that there are no active short sale listings in the neighborhood at this point suggesting prices will rebound in the Fall.

If now is the time for you to move, I would be honored to help you sell your home and/or answer any questions you may have about the real estate market here in Loudoun County.

Look for my new column in The Purcellville Gazette:  “The Dirt on the Market”