Fall is a great season for stunning color and a still hot real estate market! Plus this signals the pending end of the year and we are all eyeing big decisions by major corporations that will have a huge impact on our region. More on that below.
Our region continues to out perform the nation as whole, though it is lagging a tad behind last years numbers. Sales are down a mere 2.8% from last year which we feel is largely attributable to our continued inventory crunch and the modest rise in interest rates. Inventory this week is 6,103 homes compared to 6,450 the same week last year. As rates creep closer to 5%, entry level buyers, which are the engine that drives the move up market, are getting squeezed a bit in combination with the rise in prices. Fortunately that is being off set by higher wages from our ridiculously tight labor market. We seem to be on a gentle glide path towards a more balanced market.
With regards to big announcements there have already been an impressive number of major moves this year in Northern Virginia. Microsoft bought 328 acres out by Battlefield, Facebook moved some operations into Tysons, Micron came into Manassas, BAE Systems, and the list goes on and on. And of course we are waiting to hear the word from Amazon about their new facility location and it’s estimated 50,000 jobs over the next 10 years. During our meeting we discussed many of the off the radar indicators we have been observing and if I was to place a bet I’d be tempted to take the “over” that they end up in Northern Virginia. There is a lot of debate over the impact on real estate prices if they do come (The Washington Business Journal for instance is taking a very muted approach). If they don’t end up coming here things still look very, very bullish for our region.
Fun fact. Fairfax County has more parks per capita than any county in the country! Very cool.
It’s a good life.