Focus on NoVA Real Estate

Real Estate Market

Real Estate Market

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update

We take a look at what is happening in the Northern Virginia real estate market.

The Northern Virginia real estate market made an uptick at the beginning of the year with a total of 1,127 homes sold this January, a 2.83 percent increase above January 2018 home sales of 1,097.

However, we are still seeing low inventory, and if homes are priced right they are moving fast.

Listings were down about 20 percent below last year, with 1,750 active listings in January, compared with 2,193 homes available in January 2018. The average days on market (DOM) for homes in January 2019 was 63 days, a decrease of 21.25 percent compared to the 80 DOM for homes in January 2018.

The average home sale price fell by less than 1 percent compared with last January, to $565,032. This is just 0.47 percent below the January 2018 average price of $567,710.

The median sold price of homes this January, which was $495,000, rose by 4.21 percent compared to the median price of $475,000 in January 2018.

The 1,356 new pending home sales in Northern Virginia in January were 6.09 percent below the 1,444 contracts that were pending in January last year.

Real Estate Market

Do I rent or buy?

One of the ultimate questions in real estate is if someone should get in the game; should they continue to rent or buy. The answer: It all depends on your situation.

Real estate is like a 401(k), the longer you let it grow the more you will get out of it in the end. Real estate is not a quick profit maker. There are many factors that come into play, and they are not always clear from one year to the next, let alone one season to the next.

We spoke with two area financial planners, Paula Friedman with McLean Asset Management Corporation and Rob Robertory at Northwestern Mutual, to help answer questions you should be asking yourself when you are faced with the decision of renting versus buying a home, townhome or condo.

What are the questions you need to ask yourself when deciding on renting versus buying a home?

Paula Friedman: In my experience, many people thinking about buying their first home don’t think about their future plans 5 or 10 years down the road. There are many advantages to purchasing a home, when it makes sense for your situation. People should specifically consider their financial situation, future professional goals, marital plans, if they want to have children, if they may require more space down the road, or if they want to have the freedom to move when and where they want, before locking themselves into a large home purchase. Life happens and it can be tough to pivot quickly when you are tied to a large liability like a home mortgage.

There is no right or wrong answer. The key to the rent vs. buy decision is to evaluate your life today vs. what you expect down the road. The decision ultimately depends on how much flexibility you need.

Paula Friedman, Managing Principal
McLean Asset Management Corporation

Is there a term limit that makes a difference when deciding to rent versus buy? For instance, is better to buy if you will be in the area for more than 3 years?

RR: I think 5 years.

What are the advantages of renting a home?

PF: Renting offers flexibility to people that need it. If plans change and you need to move, go back to school, change jobs, etc., renting offers the opportunity to make changes without the added stress of selling a home. It can be a valuable tool when you need it.

RR: Flexibility

What are the advantages of buying a home?

PF: Purchasing a home can be an excellent investment for people who know they plan to stay in the same location for a long time and have a steady income stream. It provides an opportunity to build your wealth, put down roots, and become part of a community for the long-term.

RR: Stability and home for family

Real Estate Market

January 2019 Market Update

We take a look at what is happening in the Northern Virginia real estate market.

December brought some delight to home buyers as contracts and home sales rose to match 2017 numbers. “Contracts in the pipeline and home sales are up in our NVAR footprint despite stock market swings and a continuing federal government shutdown,” says Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® CEO Ryan Conrad in an NVAR press release. “In 2018, Realtors® in Northern Virginia conducted transactions at a pace almost identical to 2017, which was the highest since 2005.”

Though the market is holding steady, the current government shutdown has some nervous and the outlook on the situation is uncertain. There is a slight impact on current clients, as reported to NVAR from area agents, but it is still too soon to tell what the overall impact will be on the market.

The 2019 market outlook is positive with interest rates at a normal level and the excitement of Amazon’s HQ2 coming to the area. More listings are coming on the market, however, inventory still remains low.

Northern Virginia Association of Realtors

A snapshot of the Northern Virginia real estate market:

  • 1,514 homes sold in December 2018, an increase of 5.43 percent above December 2017 home sales of 1,437
  • 1,905 active listings in December, compared with 2,388 homes available in December 2017 
  • $593,400 average home sale price, up about 1 percent compared with last December 
  • $512,000 median sold price, similar to $510,000 in December 2017
  • 1,270 new pending home sales, up 16.51
  • Total pending sales of 1,697, up by 14.12 percent

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Market Update: December 2018 Vienna Market Overview

Tracey Barrett, REALTOR, with Century 21 Redwood Realty and FOCUS on NoVA Real Estate, brings you the market statistics of the Vienna Real Estate market for December 2018.

All Zip Codes in Vienna

  • December Inventory Up 19% pushing an 8-month supply
  • Pending contracts fell 75% showing decreased buyer activity
  • Listing to sold price ratios are steady at -0.5%
  • Medial sold price over 90-day period is $715,000
  • Days on Market are up 39% to 72 days for Sold Properties

Market Update: December 2018 Vienna Market Overview

Your Fairfax County 2018 Real Estate Market Overview

Tracey analyzes how the Fairfax County real estate market performed in 2018. 

  • 2.5% year-over-year appreciation according to RPR Property Resource
  • Very little impact from foreclosures, short-sales and distressed properties
  • MRIS MLS reports average sales price $579,551
  • Sellers receive 98.4% of asking price

For a more in-depth look, check out this video or contact one of our FOCUS on NoVA Real Estate® team members today!

(Click images to view larger.)

Market Update: 2018 Fairfax County Overview

Real Estate Market

How to Weather Stock Market Volatility: Curo Private Wealth

Although the adrenaline of a roller coaster is fun for most, the recent stock market volatility has people nervous. For this reason I reached out to Anne McCabe Triana, CFP®, CRPC® President and CEO – Wealth Advisor at Curo Private Wealth, to calm our nerves. Anne had this to say:

“The important thing to remember about investing in the stock markets is pull-backs are a normal, healthy part of the experience.  In fact, almost every year the S&P 500 drops and the average peak to trough sell-off has been 13.8% since 1980, while 76% of the time the S&P 500 has ended the year with positive returns (29 of 38 years).  One of the reasons the average investor substantially underperforms the markets is they make emotional, impulsive decisions (ie. the get nervous with volatility and sell when the market drops), so we need to make sure we are managing our emotions and making rational decisions.  Most of us are working on multi-decade goals, so we shouldn’t make long-term decisions based on short-term market fluctuations.”

In less than two minutes Anne gives up the update on the October market.