June sales show a positive sellers market for Fairfax and Alexandria


The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) monthly report reflects an overall positive outlook in their June report for the Northern Virginia Area, including Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria.

Townhouses took center stage on the sales scene in June with 598 units sold, a 9.52 percent sales increase over the same month last year.

In May, single-family homes took the spotlight with the first rise of the year, a 7.84 increase, with 798 dwellings purchased. Single-family home sales fell from 907 to 902 homes sold, down by 0.55 percent in June. For all categories, the months total fell by only 5.05 percent, to 1,900 units.

Condos placed a distant third both months, falling 27.01 percent in June, for a total of 400, and 24.13 percent in May, when sales reached 434.

The City of Alexandria fared slightly better, with 78 condos sold, a 19 percent slide. Single-family homes fared worst here, with a 35 percent decline, to 34. Once again, townhouses ruled the roost, with sales marking a much more modest four percent decline, to 76.

The months supply of homes for sale fell below the ideal six to seven month range (the number of homes for sale divided by the number of units sold) in May or the first time this year.  The smaller that proportion is, the better it is for the sellers. The 6.24 month supply represents a 10.64 percent increase over May 2007. Junes 3.35 percent hike led to an even more impressive 5.49 months supply.

On the shoppers side, the median price fell while the days on the market rose. Obviously, buyers have been lured back to the market by steadily lowering prices and an increasing range of choice. The median stood at $416,000 for June, a 15.10 percent decrease. The May price had been $405,000, showing a 13.83 percent slide. Days on the market rose 27.69 percent in June, to a total of 83, following a 20.55 percent rise for May, to 88.

These local figures dramatically bucked the national trend, which Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae vice president and chief economist, had announced to the Rotary Club of Baileys Crossroads on June 30. Nationally, he said, it takes about 10 months to sell a house.

The NVAR facts also served to back up the thoughts of many local Realtors about the first half of the year. Lynne Humphries, of Prudential Carruthers noted: More people are coming to open houses and more contracts are being written.

Janet Price, with McEneanerney Associates, agreed: With the lenders back, the buyers eager and the sellers realistic, thats a perfect storm in a positive sense for a steady, sustained recovery. Its already happening.