Despite a slight year-over-year decline in average sales prices, the Northern Virginia real estate market in 2016 posted its best year since 2005 in both total sales and overall sales volume, according to new figures.

A total of 21,097 residential properties went to closing during the year, up 3.8 percent from the 20,335 transactions recorded in 2015, according to preliminary figures reported Jan. 10 by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.

Figures represent sales in Arlington and Fairfax counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church.

The average sales price of $556,368 was down 0.1 percent from 2015's record total of $556,995, but still represented the second-highest ever.

Sales in 2016 were the highest since the bubble that preceded the 2008 recession; sales totals peaked from 1998 to 2005, with the region's annual sales topping out at 32,735 in 2004, according to historical tabulations compiled by the Sun Gazette.

Total sales volume of $11.7 billion for 2016 was up from $11.4 billion the year before and the third highest ever behind $15.7 billion in 2005 and $14.4 billion in 2004.

The year-over-year improvement from 2015 to 2016 in sales came despite a soft December 2016 sales report, with sales down 4 percent from a year before. Average sales prices rose about 3.5 percent in December, helping to boost sales volume.

The 2016 report marks the fifth consecutive year that the average sales price of all properties - single-family, attached and condominium - exceeded a half-million dollars, a rate also reached in 2005-06-07 before declining to an average of about $430,000 in 2009, then rebounding.

Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market. The 2016 figures are preliminary and are subject to revision; 2015 figures are final.
Posted by Abuzar Waleed on
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