State of the D.C. area real estate market: Where did all the listings go?

We’re now firmly in the spring market, and there’s one question that has emerged that’s pretty hard to avoid: What happened to listing inventory in the City of Alexandria and in Arlington County?

At the end of March, most of the metro area had roughly the same number of listings on the market as this time last year.  But in Arlington County, inventory is down 40%, and in the City of Alexandria, there were exactly half as many homes on the market.

Half.

Where did the listings go?  Contract activity is a little higher than last year in both of these areas. But it isn’t contract activity that accounts for the big drop in inventory.

There has been a significant reduction in the number of new listings coming on the market; it simply isn’t being replaced at the same levels we have historically seen.  The Amazon HQ2 announcement may have something (or a lot!) to do with that, as some would-be sellers may be holding off with the expectation of higher prices down the road.

The lack of inventory has pushed absorption rates into the “extreme sellers’ market” for most price ranges in Arlington and Alexandria.   Although prices are higher than before the HQ2 news, that’s generally true throughout the region. We haven’t yet seen the big spike in prices that ordinarily accompanies very low supply. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this in the months ahead.

Every market is different and if you’d like to know more about how things are in your neighborhood, we encourage you to call your favorite McEnearney Associate and we’ll give you an in-depth analysis.

David Howell, “State of the D.C. area real estate market: Where did all the listings go?”