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Spencer Marker's Blog

By Spencer Marker | Broker in Centreville, VA

On the Market

The townhome market continued at a nice pace with 76 sales in March, up from 68 in February but slightly down from 81 in March of 2011.   The number of sales dropped in April to 59 but inventory dropped further to only 36.  The good news is that inventory levels are way down from last year with only 41 townhomes available compared to 72 last March.  Low inventory could easily explain why we had fewer sales.  The average list price so far this year is 289,770 compared to 2011’s 288,486 and 273,962 in 2010.  Single family home sales rebounded in March after a slow start with 15 sales in Jan vs. 21 in 2011, 18 sales in February vs. 31 in 2011 to 44 in March compared to 27 last March.  While the sluggishness had me concerned we finished the qtr with 77 single family homes sold compared to 79 in 2011.  Not bad in my book. April’s sales dropped to 32 below March’s 44 and below 2010’s 39.   Currently there are 62 single family homes available compared to 65 last year at this same time.  The average list price has increased slightly to 510,028 from last years 502,725 a smidge ahead of 2010’s 506,175.  We had expected the 1st half of the year to be on par with last years at best so the numbers are good.  On our listings we have seen multiple offers and the same goes for ones our buyers have selected. 

There is an overall feeling that good inventory is hard to find and smart buyers are moving faster rather than sitting on the fence.  Rates have stayed low but strict underwriting guidelines, while necessary, have proved problematic.  Once lenders get a handle on exactly what is required it will hopefully make that process a bit easier anyhow.  Foreclosures and short sales are still out there but not in the numbers that they have been in the past.  In fact they are a fraction of what was out there last year.  New homes are the wild card in looking at the stats and they are selling strong.  They are not included in our numbers for the simple reason that they do not post their sales anywhere except internally until after they have closed which is way down the road.   We have 4 buyers so far this year that have bought new which is 2 more than all last year already.   Even though we have pushed pricing on our listings we have managed to get the appraisals which means the appraisers recognize that the market is moving. The coming months will be interesting and as it unfolds I will as usual, keep you informed

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