February sees housing slowdown, but home values hold strong

Low inventory has buyers snatching up homes fast.

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Winter tends to be a slower season in the world of real estate and this February saw a slowdown compared to this time last year, though an increase from last month. But the good news is the value of homes is strong, with a median sales price jumping to $500,000 and 97.7 percent of homes selling at listing price.

Lorraine Arora, the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors Chairman of the Board and Weichert, Realtors Fairfax regional managing broker, points out some reasons we’re seeing a slowdown in the market.

“The Federal Reserve hinted that a rise in short-term interest rates may occur at its March meeting, based on a strong economic outlook. Even though interest rates are still at historic lows, such a move could continue to keep home sales in check,” she stated in a press release put out by NVAR.

“We also need to keep in mind that as we approach the April tax-filing deadline, prospective buyers and sellers may be considering how changes to federal income tax laws might affect their future housing decisions. And that impact is still not clear to many people,” she added.

NVAR CEO Ryan Conrad added that the Northern Virginia area continues to have a stable market, pointing out that even though year-over-year numbers are showing a slowdown, a five-year outlook has this February in positive territory: a 2.7 percent increase in inventory and a 2 percent increase in sales.

February 2018 NoVA Home Stats:

  • Homes sold: 1,143 homes (down 4.11 percent from February 2017)
  • Average days on market: 61 days (down 9 percent from February 2017)
  • Average home sale price: $556,791 (up less than 1 percent from February 2017)
  • Median sold price: $500,000 (up 7.337 percent from February 2017)
  • New pending home sales: 1,768 (down 3.49 percent from February 2017)
  • New listings: 2,396 (down 19 percent from February 2017)

(Source: Northern Virginia Association of Realtors)