It's been a SUPER BUSY Tuesday, coming in after a SUPER BUSY January.  The jury's back and the verdict is in on the Northern Virginia real estate market...there's still a pulse!

More buyers made the decision to not put their home search on hold any longer, and offers were made.

In Alexandria City: In detached homes, we surged from 11 homes under contract in December '08, to 26 homes under contract in January '09. Townhomes went from 31 under contract to 34.  And condos went from 50 under contract to 68.  Last month saw the highest number of detached homes sales over the entire three month review.

In the Greater Mount Vernon Area of Alexandria (22306, 22307, 22308, and 22309): Detached homes sales soared from 72 in December '08 to 106 last month. Townhomes went from 55 to 72, and condo units sold increased slightly from 20 in December to 21 in January '09.

In Fairfax County: Detached home sales improved from 442 in December '08 to 592 in January.  Townhome sales also improved, from 353 to 441, and condos sales soared from 127 units sold in December '08 to 169 in January '09.

A very nice start for 2009 indeed.  Fairfax County is getting better at absorbing the bank owned foreclosures, REOs, and short sales inventory.  And while these distressed properties for sale in Alexandria and Northern Virginia will be around for a while, they are starting to move, and they also represent great deals for first-time homebuyers.

I understand that some buyers may feel timid about entering the market because of the bad press, but others have felt that as long as you use real estate as a LONG TERM tool, they've found that it takes the stress out of trying to make a quick buck in real estate.  The financing is available, the money is there, and both lenders and local housing authorities are working diligently to offer programs to help reduce the inventory of homes, offer home ownership education, and offer special financing for home buyers and investors .  If you missed our FREE Home Buyer Class, don't miss the next class which will be offered February 18th from 6-8 PM at the Charles Beatley, Jr. Public Library.