Alexandria, Kingstowne, Lorton & Springfield Market Update

Here is a market update for our areas of Alexandria, Kingstowne, Springfield and Lorton for April 8, 2011.

The information I am sharing statistically comes straight off of the MLS system we use every day, which is called MRIS, the Multi Regional Information System.

Right now interest rates are still low. They are hovering right around 5% with no points. Now always remember that if you are going to check out interest rates with lenders, they change every day. So, if you are comparing rates, make sure you get the quote from everybody you plan to talk to on the same day.

Let’s get started:

In all of Alexandria, there are 1152 properties on the market. Out of these 430 are detached, 327 are townhomes, and 394 are condos. If you add those up you get 1151, but remember a few of the townhomes are condo form of ownership.

278 of the detached homes are under contract. 304 condos are under contract, and 262 townhomes are under contract. This shows a very high absorption rate. Inventory is low and the attractive properties that are priced right are selling quickly.

While properties that are overpriced or don’t show well are sitting, the good ones are getting a lot of attention. Open houses are receiving much more traffic than last year.

There are still short sales and foreclosures in the marketplace, but things are getting a little more streamlined with this process thankfully. The HAP (Housing Assistance Program) for the military is also much improved and can get approval in 2 weeks.

In the Kingstowne area, which we’ll call zip codes 22315 and 22310, there are 178 properties for sale. There are 167 under contract. Again, we’re seeing a very high absorption rate. Almost one for one. Out of those, 63 detached homes are available, 70 townhouses, and 42 condos. When you look at the under contracts, you see 57 single family homes, 87 townhouses and 25 condos. That number of  available homes is a very low number, especially given the demand coming from the Fort Belvoir BRAC. In the fall of 2007 that same number was 489 and prices were in free-fall, so you can see how our market has changed for the better!

Now let’s look at Springfield. There are 197 total homes for sale. There are 277 under contract. There are 127 detached homes available and 161 under contract. On townhouses, there are 55 available with 99 under contract. There are 18 condos for sale and 25 under contract. We have seen  move-up buyers getting seriously into the market. Springfield attracts a lot of attention because of all the bedroom communities off of the Fairfax County Parkway. They are close to the Metro with very good schools and have a wide variety of single-family detached homes that appeal to families that have outgrown their townhomes. Good properties are getting multiple interest.

If we turn our attention to Lorton, we see more of the same. In Lorton, which is zip code 22079, we see 72 available homes, with 42 single-family, 24 townhomes, and only 7 condos. There are 124 homes under contract. Out of those, 49 are detached, 61 townhomes and 18 condos. Very interesting numbers to those of us who live here and are rooting for the market.  Lorton is an area that was hit hard by short sales and foreclosures, but is making a strong come-back.

As the inventory declines, it will enable prices to continue their recovery. Appraisers are still in many cases being conservative and could be a whole subject onto itself. We believe that all of our market area will be helped by the influx of newcomers to the area with the Fort Belvoir BRAC and all the contractors that want close proximity to their clients.

Following the numbers gives us the pulse of the current market and helps us to sense when changes occur. When the market changes it tends to happen quickly and by the time it’s news, it’s already well-known to those of us that follow the daily ups and downs. Right now, we like the direction we’re in and hope we can continue. Stay tuned.

Tom Pietsch