Sales Market Summary Q4 2012

This past October-December continued what we saw in the past two quarters, that Falls Church inventory remains fairly tight. There were 50 sales (21 condos, 4 THs, 25 detached) which is a decrease over the previous quarter of 68 (29 condos, 5 THs, 34 detached) but slightly more than Q4 2011 (45 sales: 20 condos, 3 THs, 22 detached). For most of the quarter the total number of all active listings on any given day was below 30 and dipped into the teens by early December. This is very typical given the market slows down from Thanksgiving until New Year’s. This trend should continue until we get closer to the Spring.

For 2012, there were 210 deals (82 condos, 23 townhouses, 105 detached). Townhouses and detached homes started slowly, sped up for Qs 2 & 3, and then slowed down again to close out the year. That’s pretty typical as seasonal selling goes. Conversely, condos sold quickly July-Dec but were much slower the first half of the year.

There were 2 Short Sales this quarter, one condo in Covent Gardens and another in Winter Hill. For 2012, there were 5 Short Sales and 2 Foreclosures (6 were condos). While distressed sales are never good, there’s little evidence they affected our market much. And getting them out of the system is a good thing. It will be interesting to see if they affect 2013 tax assessments for condos–especially at The Byron–where 3 of the 7 deals were Short Sales.

Note: The 2013 assessments will be mailed out late in January and posted on-line soon thereafter. Click here for the City’s Real Estate page.

We noticed sales for detached and THs slowed down after Labor Day–not so much for condos. Properties did not move as quickly as they did in the Summer. There does not seem to be a good answer given the early Fall is usually the second busiest time (after Spring). The economy did not change much (either way) and interest rates stayed low. Suffice it to say, more folks moved earlier in the year.

NOTE: Below #s are averaged (unless otherwise noted)

    Condos Q4:

*21 Sold (82 for 2012)
*Days on Market: 37-39……Both Q4 & Q3 were much faster than January-June
*Sold Price: $372,205, 6% above 2012 Tax Assessed Value (TAV)
*Seller Subsidy: 62% had Seller Subsidy, $4917
*Price Difference: $4,939 (between List and Sold)
*1 Short Sale (Covent Gardens)

    Townhouses Q4:

*4 Sold (23 for 2012)
*Days on Market: 45-54….higher than Q3 due to one slow selling listing
*Sold Price: $707,250, 11% above TAV (3% above for Q3)
*Seller Subsidy: 50% had a seller subsidy; $4000…..quite higher than Q3 & Q2
*Price Difference: $12,250 (between List and Sold price)….much higher than Q3 & Q2

    Detached Q4:

*25 Sold (105 for 2012)
*Days on Market: 37-58….a fairly long time; slower than Q3 (21-32 days)
*Sold Price: $870,242, 16% above TAV; a bit higher than Q3 (12%)
*Seller Subsidy: 40% had SS; $2615, slightly lower than Q3
*Price Difference: $30,786 (List vs. Sold price); 3X higher than Q3

Rental Market Summary Q4 2012: Again, very little change here as the rental market remained tight the last three months of the year. For the period there were……

*11 rentals (4 condos, 7 detached)
*Days on Market (52 condo; 37 detached): This was slower than Q3 (18 days). However, the condo DOM drops to 21 days if you take out 1 unit at The Spectrum which took 124 days to rent–a very long time–and was by far the slowest rental of the year.
*Price Ranges: Condo: $1650-1875/month; Detached: $2100-3700/month

Similar to sales, the rental market slowed (i.e. seasonal reasons) but remained tight inventory-wise. As of January 14th, there were 14 Active rentals—5 houses and 9 condos. As before, there are several condos in Roosevelt Towers that are essentially permanent rentals, i.e. they’ve been in MLS for years. So taking them out, you’re left with 10 listings (4 detached, 6 condos). Three of them have been on for over 30 days. While not long by historical standards, this was rare in the first half of 2012.


Not all rentals are in MLS. Some are done privately or on-line (Craig’s List, Military by Owner, etc.). So the numbers here don’t show everything. However we’re confident they capture the overall trend.