Northern Virginia Real Estate Video Market Update for December 2012

Here is the December 2012 MarketWatch video that summarizes the real estate market statistics for the Northern Virginia region:

Here are the highlights:

  • On the Hill, partisan uncertainty regarding the fiscal cliff and sequestration will linger for the next couple of months.
  • The national economy continued a steady pace of economic growth, the U.S. added another 155,000 jobs.
  • From December 2011 to December 2012, there were 1.8 milltion jobs added, and the unemployment rate held steady at 7.8%.
  • Most experts believe that 2013 will be a good year for home sellers, inventories are still low, prices are rising, and underwriting guidelines for new mortgages are becoming more uniform.  However, the lack of uncertainty on fiscal issues will continue to slow the potential for a more robust recovery and will likely result in a slow but steady growth pattern.
  • Locally, the Northern Virginia economy added 19,000 workers over the last 12 months.
  • The unemployment rate in Virginia is 3.9%, down from 4% in November, and this remains one of the lowest regional unemployment rates in the nation.
  • There were 2,289 sales in the Northern Virginia housing market in December 2012, a 5.4% increase than in December 2011, and the 11th monthly increase in 2012.  The consistency of year over year sales growth signals rising demand.
  • There were 2,066 new pending contracts in December 2012, down just 1% from December 2011.
  • The most striking aspect of the 2012 housing market has been the diminishing supply of homes for saleActive listings continue to plunge and have fallen to their lowest levels since 2005.  There were 4,364 active listings at the end of December, 28% below the number of active listings in December 2011.
  • New listings are also falling relative to last year, down 9% from December 2011, the 8th monthly decline in 2012.
  • The median sales price is up to $385,000, almost 11% higher than December 2011.
  • Low inventory is not only applying upward pressure to median sales price, but it is also affecting the days on market.  The median days on market was 28 days, down 14 days from December 2011.
  • The expectation that there will be continued low inventory in January will mean pressure on prices as long as buyers remain active.
  • There may be some drag on the spring market due to the uncertainty of the fiscal issues on the national level.

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