Whether you are in the market to buy a home or to sell your current home, it is important to keep abreast of market statistics (or at least to work with a knowledgeable REALTOR who does). Newspapers, national magazines, and television news report on regional and national trends, but don't do a very good job of explaining the local real estate market.
The number of new housing starts nationwide or the percentage increase in foreclosures in the entire state have very little, if any, bearing on how quickly your Arlington condo will sell, or how much negotiating room there is with the seller of an Old Town Alexandria townhouse.
Two statistics that warrant close examination are:
- the average number of days a home stays on the market in a particular area before a contract is ratified between seller and purchaser.
- the average sales price as a percentage of original listing price -- this shows how willing sellers are to reduce their prices and how much negotiating room a buyer has in the current market.
If you are thinking about buying a home in Alexandria, Virginia, or getting ready to sell one, pay close attention. I prepared an analysis of all homes sold to date in 2008 divided up by price range. This analysis for Alexandria looks at
- the number of sales in each price range
- the net sales price (final sales price minus any seller subsidies, or concessions towards closing costs)
- the original sales price (not the final listing price at time of sale, but the price at which the home originally went on the market); and
- the number of days on the market.
The results may surprise you.
You might expect the most negotiating room in the higher price ranges. Right? WRONG.
The lower priced homes sell quicker than higher priced ones. Right? WRONG AGAIN.
This first chart shows the number of sales in each price range.
This next chart shows the average number of days on market for all sales in each price range in Alexandria. The overall average days on market year-to-date in Alexandria is about 71 days. The columns in red indicate an above average amount of days in that price range. The black columns indicate a below average amount of days on market, or relatively fast sales.
One thing you'll notice is that the fastest selling price range is the $700,000 to $800,000 homes. Homes in the $200K and $200K-$300K price ranges are actually selling at a slower pace than homes in the $600K-$800K and even the $1 million plus price ranges!
The final chart shows the average final sales price as a percentage of the original listing price.
Once again, the homes that are garnering the highest percentage of the listing price (or least discount) are in the $700,000 to $800,000 price range. The least expensive homes -- those under $200,000 are actually selling for the largest discount from asking price.
Not what you expected?
To get started with your home search, click on Northern Virginia Home Search, and then enter your criteria and price range. You'll get detailed information on available homes e-mailed to you on a daily basis.
If you're thinking about selling your home and want to know what it's worth, click on Value My Virginia Home for a preliminary comparative market analysis.