Sales Market Summary Q1 2014: The strong market we saw start in early 2013 continues unabated into 2014. This past January-March saw the usual Winter lull inventory-wise but the lull in no way affected prices. There were a total of 35 sales (12 condos, 3 THs, 16 detached). Interestingly that volume was very close to the same time period for 2013 and 2012. For most of the period the number of active listings (all types) on any given day was at 20 and under that for January and February. This slow pace is very typical but it just felt slower than the past few Winters. Who knows, maybe the tough season we just finished really had an effect.
Distressed Sales: Good news, there were no short sales or foreclosures. The few distressed properties we had the past few years are out of the system. We’re not apt to see any others for the foreseeable future.
NOTE: 2013 tax assessed values (TAV) were used since the 2014 assessments were not released until late February. Also below #s are averaged (unless otherwise noted)
*Days on Market: 24……Much lower than Q4 2013
*Sold Price: $442,008, 12% above TAV
*Seller Subsidy: Only 17% had Seller Subsidy, with an average of $258 (A non-issue)
*Price Difference (Sold vs. List): A negative $4,925
*3 Sold (all in Winter Hill)
*Days on Market: 14……Very fast
*Sold Price: $550,500, 11% above TAV
*Seller Subsidy: 33% had a seller subsidy; $1,667
*Price Difference (Sold vs. List): A positive $4,067
You can’t read too much into this since only 3 THs sold. But we can say that Winter Hill is a very hot neighborhood, a trend that started March of last year.
*16 Sold…..Oddly the same # as Q4 2013
*Days on Market: 33-40…fairly long time due to several overpriced listings
*Sold Price: $812,258, 12% above TAV
*Seller Subsidy: 31% had SS; $1,323
*Price Difference (List vs. Sold): A negative $6705
Rental Market Summary: No change as the rental market remained tight–even tighter than most of 2013. It’s starting to feel like the movie “Ground Hog Day” with rentals–nothing ever changes.
*20 rentals (8 condos, 2 THs, 10 detached)
*Days on Market: 41 condo; 55 TH, 20-34 detached
*Rented Price Range/Month: Condo: $1450-3000; TH: $2650-2700; Detached: $1650-4900
Similar to the Sold listings, the TH rentals were both in Winter Hill. There were a few rentals that took fairly long to close, yet there was very little reduction in the final rented price.
As of early April, there were a mere 11 Active rentals (9 condos/apartments, 1 TH, 1 detached). It seems the rental market is even tighter than its sales counterpart. As always, there are several units in Roosevelt Towers that are essentially permanent rentals, i.e. they’ve been in MLS for years. So taking those 4 out, you’re left with only 6 Active listings. That’s a very tight market by anyone’s standards.
NOTE: Not all rentals are in MLS. Some are done privately or more often on-line (F.C. Common Place, Craig’s List, Military by Owner) so the numbers here don’t show everything. However we’re confident they capture the overall trend.
What’s Next: It’s almost hard to believe that just a few years ago that–more often than not–buyers were in the driver seat. How that has changed. The supply and demand lesson we all learned in school is clearly in play now as quite a few buyers don’t succeed until after multiple tries. The traditional Spring Market is about to start and yet the inventory remains very tight. We’ll know a lot more after the school Spring Break. But our guess is that low inventory has become the “new normal” for Falls Church (and surrounding areas). The D.C. area is one of (if not the) strongest job markets in the country. And there are no signs this will change anytime soon.