How is the Fairfax County Real Estate Market? (Feb 2013 Update)

Spring has sprung in the Fairfax County Real Estate Market

Spring has come to Fairfax County Real Estate

Spring has come to Fairfax County Real Estate

This morning, as soon as I woke up, I heard the birds singing.  I opened the curtains and saw the daffodils blooming.

But when I opened the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) statistics, I found the telltale sign that it was Spring:

Homes are flying off the shelf!

Homes are on the market for just a few days

Throughout the past few weeks, while helping several buyers make offers on their desired properties, I noticed that there was barely any time to make an offer before homes went under contract.  But this was anecdotal evidence and I wanted to know if this was happening across the entire Fairfax County Real Estate Market.

Using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), I took a sample of Detached, Single Family homes of between $400k and $600k (about the average) across all of Fairfax County.  Next, I segmented them by date listed to see how fast they were selling by looking at the average “Days on Market” (DOMM)

Date Listed Average DOMM
90-61 days ago 18 days
60-31 days ago 10 days
less than 30 days ago 5 days

But how fast are they really selling?  Can it get any faster?

Is a Days on Market (DOMM) of 5 slower than 1 or 2?

Not really. The main reason why the average days on market (DOMM) is 5 and not just 1 or 2, is that most sellers wait through a weekend before choosing an offer. By activating a listing on a Thursday or Friday, and letting buyers see it through the weekend, sellers make sure that they give all interested parties enough time to see the home and to make an offer.  Often, this strategy results in multiple offers and a higher sales price.

But not all sellers wait through the weekend. There are plenty of listings with very few days on market.  This contributes to the AVERAGE being 5 days on market.

Needless to say, we are in a hot, hot, hot sellers’ market with multiple offers and high sales prices.

And looking at the average days on market (DOMM), it is clear to me that more and more buyers are showing up to buy the existing inventory of homes.

So, in light of this fast-paced market, some clients have asked me if I think that we’ll see more homes put up for sale to balance the crazy demand that we are seeing. While I can’t predict the future, I set out to figure out the trend of how many homes were being listed (i.e. active homes):

Have the number of listings increased?

On the following table, I have recorded the number of detached homes of between $400k and $600k listed across Fairfax County in the last 90 days.

Date Listed # of Homes
90-61 days ago 155
60-31 days ago 211
less than 30 days ago 363

The good news is that it looks like there has been a steady increase in inventory.  The not so good news is that the number of listings hasn’t been keeping up with the demand.

So, what is this high demand doing to the home prices?

Feb 2013 Median Sold Price Comparison

Feb 2013 Median Sold Price Comparison

Over the past year, we know that the median sold price for all homes in Fairfax County (not just a small sample of detached homes of between $400k and $600k), is up 15.9% from February of 2012.

And on a month-to-month comparison (e.g. between January 2013 and February 2013), the median sold price in Fairfax County increased 1.2% from $415,000 to $420,000.

However, it is hard to tell in real time what’s happening to home prices because what we are seeing reported in the statistics as sold prices are the prices at the time of contract negotiations (which happened about 30-45 days before the date of settlement). This means that sold home prices reported today have a lag of 30-45 days from when they were originally negotiated.

In summary

  • Home prices are up  15.9% compared to February of last year (2012).
  • Home prices are up 1.2% from January to February 2013.
  • Prices being up is the result of a high demand for homes as evidenced by the low Days on Market.
  • It’s hard to tell whether the supply of listings will increase enough to meet the demand

What should all these statistics mean to you?

Well, if you are planning on selling your home soon, this is very good news.

And if you are planning on buying a home, then I can tell you that now is an exciting time to buy; when inventory is at its highest point of the year and there are many homes from where to choose from.

In both cases, the trick to having a successful transaction is to be very well prepared to make quick decisions.

The first step to being well prepared is being familiar with the latest statistics.  These statistics have been compiled by RBIntel (a branch of our MLS). You can download them here:





Fairfax County Real Estate Statistics – February 2013


Next Step

To know more about how to be well prepared to make quick decisions, contact us!

We’ll be happy to get you ready to enjoy Spring in the Fairfax County Real Estate Market.


Image by antean on Flickr , Statistics from RBIntel

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