Housing Market Update: Inventory Lower Again in Early 2018 Analysis

Housing Market Update: Inventory Lower Again in Early 2018 Analysis

Low inventory continues to keep pressure on prices while slowing home sales in Loudoun County, according to the January real estate market analysis released by the Dulles Area Association of Realtors.

According to the analysis, 877 homes were for sale at the month’s end, which represents only a 1.6-month supply based on average sales over the past year. According to Gibson International and Trulia.com, an inventory of between five and seven months is considered “normal” or “healthy.”

There was some good news in the report, however, according to DAAR President Holly Weatherwax.

“We are still experiencing a shortage of inventory, but we were encouraged to see an increase in new listing activity for January 2018 compared to January 2017 (up 13.3 percent),” Weatherwax said. “For sellers who have been considering listing their homes, it is a very good time to sell. Buyers will need to be patient as the limited inventory is likely to move very quickly and pricing will be competitive.”

The monthly analysis of the Loudoun County housing market is prepared by George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, using Bright MLS housing data from MarketStats by ShowingTime.

According to the analysis, it was the 31st consecutive month that active listings declined in Loudoun County — the lowest recorded inventory number in more than a decade.  At the end of January 2018, inventory was 9.8 percent lower than the same point last year. This left 877 homes for sale at month’s end, with 1.6 months of supply heading into February.

That low inventory contributed to the decline in other benchmarks. The number of closed sales continued to decline. January’s 317 closed sales represented a decline of 9.7 percent over January 2017.

“This is a continued sign of low inventory suppressing sales, as prospective buyers find both limited choices and climbing home prices,” according to the analysis.
Also, fewer home buyers signed contracts in January 2018 compared to last year, but at a slower pace of decline than previous months. New pending sales decreased 3.5 percent to 436, yet were 2.6 percent greater than the five-year January average of 425.

Other findings in the analysis include:

  • Price growth continues to stall as Loudoun County’s median home sale price was $450,000 in January— unchanged from this time last year.
  • New listing activity increased in January versus last year (13.3 percent), reversing recent months of decline. Loudoun County added 586 new homes to the market in January. The erratic change in new listings from month to month signals little long-term relief from the market’s consistently low supply of homes.
  • Loudoun County homes continued to sell faster than last year, with half of the January sales listing for 28 days or less—down from January 2017’s median of 33.
  • Loudoun County home sellers received, on average, 97.4 percent of original list price in January.
  • Condos saw record numbers of both January new listings and closed sales.
    Ashburn’s 20148 and 20147 had significant increases in closed sales, new pending sales, and new listings.
  • January’s median home sale price of $450,000 is unchanged from last year at this time but remains 3.4 percent above the five‐year January average.
  • Detached single-family median sale prices stand at $612,500, up 4.6 percent from January 2017. Condo prices are up 7.5 percent vs. January 2017 at $300,000. Townhome median sales price continued to rise relative to last year ($415,000, + 4.9 percent).
  • Median price levels were up in five of the eight Loudoun ZIP codes that had 20 or more sales in January 2018. Leesburg’s 20175 saw the largest increase in median sales price, as it grew 21.0 percent to $490,000.
  • Sterling’s 20164 also saw a noteworthy year over year price gain (+8.0 percent) in January, yet it remains Loudoun County’s least expensive zip code.
  • For the second straight month, Aldie’s 20105 saw year over year decreases in median sales price at ‐9 percent, dropping from its place as the most expensive zip code in the county. Ashburn’s 20148 and Sterling’s 20165 also saw decreases in price from last year at ‐5.0 percent and ‐6.1 percent, respectively.
  • Leesburg’s 20176 was the County’s most expensive zip code in January with a median closed sale price of $550,000.
Joseph Dill