Townhouses stay in the black


Townhouses were the only category of homes for which sales increased during July in both the City of Alexandria and the Northern Virginia region as a whole.
    Alexandrias townhouse sales rose by 5 percent as compared to the same month last year, according to the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors monthly report. A total of 68 units were purchased in July 2010. Condo sales sank by 20 percent, to 79. Single-family dwellings suffered the steepest drop, falling 50 percent to just 26 sales.
    At the same time, the median price for a single-family home rose by 12 percent, to $730,000. Townhouses and condos each saw a median price increase of 1 percent, to $526,500 and $280,000, respectively.
    The picture was far different for the entire Northern Virginia region, also including Fairfax County and Arlington. Here, the red ink spread over all three categories. 
    Single-family home sales suffered the slightest losses, dropping by 15 percent to a total of 829. Townhouses followed with a 17 percent decline, to 453. Condo sales fared the worst, sinking by 28 percent to 381. The total median sales price rose by 9.76 percent to $450,000.
    Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, had predicted a sales drop following the expiration of the homebuyers federal tax credit at the end of April. He also expressed the hope that sales would rise again later in the year and into 2011.