Things That Make You Say, “Hmmmm . . .”

graphLooking at the January 2009 data for the housing market in Northern Virginia (Fairfax and Arlington Counties; Falls Church, Fairfax and Alexandria Cities), the year-over-year trends of the past several months are continuing – sales are up (+39%), active listings are down (-16%), pending sales are up (+23%) and sales prices continue to run 20-25% below those of a year ago, and -30% from two years ago. Average days on market is declining but is still in the 100 range (for sold homes).

The absorption rate has picked up from December’s 5-month figure – we have about 7.5 months of homes on the market now, in the low “buyer’s market” range – largely, I think, because a sizable number of sellers were waiting until after the holidays to put their homes on the market.

There is a lot of action in the sub-$300,000 detached home market. Here are some interesting numbers: 

homesalepriceDetached Homes for sale under $300,000:

  • January 2008   =   55
  • January 2009   =   436

Detached Homes sold under $300,000:

  • January 2008   =   8
  • January 2009   =   90

Here’s another interesting number:

Homes financed through FHA/VA:

  • January 2008   =   39
  • January 2009   =   328

So the government guaranteed the mortgages of over 33% of all homes sold in January 2009. In the entire year of 2006, FHA/VA loans totaled 253, or only 1% of sales in Northern Virginia. Wow.

The mortgage market has been volatile and will continue to be, though the federal government will do all it can to hold it down until the economic outlook improves. Rates are now in the 5.4% range for 30-year fixed. The chart from shows the last 3 months’ rate movements in Virginia.

The government has a lot of things going on – from Congress to the Treasury to the Federal Reserve to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. So many are up in the air that it would be foolish to write about them today.

All the more reason to subscribe to my blog!

Kim Hannemann, Real Estate Consultant/Realtor®, Samson Realty
Cell: 703-861-9234 • Fax: 703-896-5055 • Email:
It’s Good To Have A Friend In The Business®


If you would like to discuss real estate questions, sell or buy a home in Northern Virginia – including Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Falls Church, Kingstowne, Lorton, McLean, Reston, Springfield, or Vienna – contact Kim today.

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2 Responses to Things That Make You Say, “Hmmmm . . .”

  1. […] the market beginning as early as the end of this month. I’ve been noting in my recent posts (here and here) that the local inventory is shrinking when one normally expect it to be rising – perhaps […]

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