'Principle of Anticipation' kicks in for October's Buyers,
Sellers in Northern Virginia: New Listings, New Contracts Rise 7 Percent; Active Listings, All Pendings Dip 7 Percent,
Reports the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®
Fairfax - While being selected as an HQ2 site by Amazon, one of the world's biggest companies, is cause for celebration among politicians and business leaders, Northern Virginia residents and prospective homebuyers have valid concerns about how such an announcement will affect housing affordability. Last month, the October housing market in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Clifton and Falls Church combined recorded a 4 percent dip in total sales compared to sold homes one year ago, according to Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® housing data.
"With the DC region as one of the nation's top five spots for tech talent, we remained cautiously optimistic that Amazon's HQ2 announcement would include the region where Bezos lives,"
said NVAR CEO Ryan Conrad.
"This week's announcement to divide the location of Amazon's second headquarters between Queens, NY and Arlington's National Landing (aka Crystal City) provides great affirmation about our region's value and strong fundamentals."
Conrad noted, "With our area's boost of new listings of nearly 7 percent, seller confidence is emerging, and will likely stick long-term in light of this Amazon business news."
According to NVAR's President Lorraine Arora, "With the coming tsunami in Northern Virginia housing demand, the issues of affordable new properties and resales at value-priced points loom as our ongoing challenges. That said, some of our agents observed greater than usual buyer traffic in October resulting in multiple offers on properties that had little action previously." Market activity should show steady increases now that there is an infusion of new business lines in our NVAR footprint, she predicted.
The still reasonable interest rates provided incentives to serious clients, according to Tracy Comstock, principal broker of SilverLine Realty & Investments. "For under-$1 million properties, both buyers and sellers compromised in October. Trying to get in front of the expected rate increases, sellers were more willing to negotiate prices, recognizing that their own buying power would be less. The same held true for buyers: they were anxious to complete the transactions to ensure they would get the best possible rate and could maximize their buying power now.
"Another interesting note is that the 'Principle of Anticipation' works so well in the Reston Metro and Tysons' areas. Buyers are willing to pay higher price for pre-construction condos or townhomes in Metro-accessible areas," Comstock observed.