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.
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.
December brought some truly incredible absorption rates in Arlington and Alexandria in the aftermath of Amazon’s HQ2 announcement, while the rest of the region continued to see more typical performance.
Compared to the previous December, contract activity in Alexandria was up 13% in December 2018 and was up 20% in Arlington. The Amazon announcement created a perfect storm – it fueled demand precisely at a time when inventory is seasonally low. In December 2017, inventory was about 40% lower than it was in September 2017 in both Alexandria and Arlington. As expected, inventory was already headed down before the Amazon announcement, so when contract activity increased in the last six weeks of the year in Arlington and Alexandria there was already less inventory to fight over. And since we were then in a time of year where relatively few listings come on the market, buyers were soaking up whatever was there.
Arlington and Alexandria’s real estate certainly got a boost in the immediate aftermath of Amazon’s announcement that they are bringing 25,000 new jobs to Northern Virginia over the next decade. A couple of weeks ago we talked about the Impact of Amazon’s HQ2move to Northern Virginia and what to expect in the years to come, but today let’s focus on the immediate changes that we’ve noticed in the month of November.