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Jeff Shearer

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NOVA Real Estate Statistics

NOVA home sales continued at a brisk pace in June. 70% of NOVA homes sold in 20 days or less. The number of units sold increased 3.41 percent from June 2017. Yet, active listings were down nearly 11% from last year. Pushing the average sold price up 1.5 percent from 2017.

Buyers in this market should be certain to have their finances arranged and a Realtor who is willing to keep on pace to find the right home. Buyers may also have to be a little flexible to let the sellers stay in their home to finish moving and repairs. Sellers may request a rent-back after settlement so they can present themselves in as good a financial position as possible if they are purchasing another home. In short, this is the time for all parties to work together to make everyone's transition smooth.


Inventory Is Tight, Sales and Price Growth are Moderating


In the NOVA region, low inventory persists. January saw the lowest number of active listings in five years, and as of May 2018, inventory was down 11.9 percent from this point last year (Figure 5). In fact, inventory has declined from the previous year for 25 straight months beginning in May 2016. The expected spring inventory growth was down from record lows last year, as February and March inventory growth compared to 2017 remained at -19.4 percent and -21.1 percent, respectively. Active listings in April stood at 3,398 – 17.3 percent fewer than in April 2017.

Low inventory of homes contributes to the increasingly downward trending closed-sales growth (Figure 5). Closed sales in the first three months of 2018 decreased from the year before and declined on average 2 percent – compared to growth of 11.1 percent over the same period last year. April saw a spike in closed sales numbers, but May sales reverted back to early 2017 growth rates – declining nearly 2.7 percent from the previous year. Existing home sales growth continues to outpace new listings, so expect inventory to remain tight.

In light of moderate economic and job growth, low inventory appears to be suppressing demand, and buyers find it increasingly difficult to find a suitable home. Sporadic, yet generally declining growth in sales numbers during the latter half of 2017 and beginning of 2018 demonstrate this trend.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, for the fourth year in a row, difficulty finding the right property has surpassed the difficulty in obtaining mortgage financing as the most cited reason limiting potential clients. With the March and June 2018 interest rate hikes and others expected in 2018, home purchases may decline as financing becomes more expensive, resulting in fewer sales and fewer vacating households. As buyers become even more discouraged and closed sales growth moderates, inventory will continue its precipitous decline while regional job growth continues.

Northern Virginia Association of Realtors

I decided to become a Certified Real Estate Pricing Specialist® to better understand and exercise the pricing models used to value residential real estate.

This class provided me a better understanding of comparable selection and price confidence. This has been a key element of my advice to clients. Not only do I provide an estimate of price range, but I can also state my confidence in my estimate based on an analytic model.

After obtaining the C-REPS®, I worked with major banks to provide over 100 valuation estimates. This experience has helped me exercise my valuations, but also provided professional critique of my estimates.

I consider my C-REPS® a significant differentiator from other real estate agents.