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Prices up, sales lagging in latest Fairfax homes data

Average single-family price in August was up 15% to $1.12 million

Average sales prices across all three segments of the Fairfax County real-estate market showed major year-over-year jumps in August sales data, even as home sales continue to be held back by availability and affordability issues.

The average sales price of the 1,100 properties that went to closing across the county last month was $845,311, up 17.2 percent, according to figures reported by MarketStats by ShowingTime based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

“Finding a home to buy remained challenging in August, with limited options and higher prices, but we are seeing positive signs, including a less drastic drop in home sales,” said Northern Virginia Association of Realtors’ board member Stacy Holscher of Redfin.

That large bump skyward in Fairfax pricing was aided, in part, by a larger percentage of sales being single-family homes – 52 percent in August 2023 compared to 49 percent in August 2022. But prices were up in all three legs of the local market:

• The average single-family price of $1,122,304 rose 15.4 percent year-over-year.

• The average price of attached homes (townhouses, rowhouses and condominiums) increased 12.5 percent to $540,832.

• The average price of condominiums alone was up 24.2 percent to $431,563.

A total of 264 properties changed hands at more than $1 million, including 25 above $2.5 million and three at more than $5 million.

Add up all the sales and prices, and Fairfax’s total market activity for the month stood at just over $925 million, up 1.5 percent from a year before.

Due to constrained inventory, sellers across Fairfax County largely were getting what they sought, as the average sales price for the month represented 100.8 percent of listing price, up from 98.4 percent a year ago. Homes that went to closing during the month spent an average of 16 days between listing and ratified sales contract, an improvement from 18 days a year before.

Conventional financing represented the method of transacting sales in 723 cases, followed by cash (213) and VA-backed mortgages (109).

At the end of the month, total inventory countywide stood at 979 homes, down 36 percent from a year before. That should help to continue the recent trend of lower sales but higher prices.

Where is the market headed? While there are some signs autumn could see more activity than summer, pending sales for August were down nearly 25 percent from a year before.

Across Northern Virginia as a whole (Arlington and Fairfax counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church), trajectories were similar to the Fairfax results, according to the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors:

• The number of closed sales in August 2023 was 1,535 units, down 12.4 percent from a year before.

• The average sold price of $831,968 was up 15.8 percent.

• The number of active listings for the month was 1,492, down 30.7 percent, and the total pending sales of 1,304 represented a decline of 16.7 percent from a year before.

• Total sales volume was just over $1.27 billion, up a fraction of a percent from a year before.

Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market. All August 2023 figures are preliminary and are subject to revision.