This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Jillian Keck Hogan Real Estate Group and McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Jillian at 703-951-7655 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.
Question: What is happening in the Alexandria real estate market during COVID-19?
Answer: As we combat the COVID-19 Pandemic here in Alexandria, along with the rest of Virginia, by closing non-essential businesses, the real estate market is still very much alive. Though it is hard to trend where things are going, we can take the last 2 weeks of data to share how our market has been doing since our city started taking action against COVID-19.
The first week that Alexandria and Northern Virginia was affected by COVID-19 was March 15-21, and contract activity overall was down 5.1% compared to the same 7-day period last year, and it was down 25% for the week of March 22-28. Contract activity continues to move swiftly at the lower price-points, while the $1 million plus market is moving slower.
In the $300-$749K price range, which accounts for more than two-thirds of home sales, there was a 4.6% increase in new contracts the week of March 15. But this past week, a 15% decrease was seen in contract activity compared to the same 7-day period last year. Homes priced over $1million are moving slower and contract activity dropped 33% in this price range the week of March 15, and 46% the week of March 22.
Our marketplace has seen more properties taken to “Temporarily Off Market” than previous months due to people wanting to wait to sell until a later date. As of today, in our Alexandria City market, there are 23 “Coming Soon” properties, 79 actively for sale, and 52 homes that are under contract or pending.
*We will continue to monitor the market trends and how the economy will affect real estate and we encourage you to email us for the most up-to-date information.
Should I Buy During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Echoing what the Executive VP and Chief Information Officer of McEnearney, David Howell, always says, “Buy when you’re ready to buy, and sell when you’re ready to sell.” If you are ready to purchase a home, whether it is your first time, second time, or you’re looking for a new investment opportunity, there is no time like the present.
If you are looking at the higher price points over $1 million, recent statistics show that this price point has shifted away from being a “seller’s market”. Though we are still dealing with low inventory, buyers are looking at this downtime as a perfect time to find their next home. Settlements are still occurring and loans are still being underwritten (all while complying with the current CDC guidelines), although it is wise to allow a bit more time than the usual speedy settlement period to account for any delays due to COVID-19.
I Planned to Purchase This Spring. How Can I do That?
Now, more than ever before, having an expert real estate agent working for you is so important (we’d love to apply for the job). Our top priority is health and safety, and we have adjusted our standard practice to implement this priority. At this time, our Brokerage has halted all open houses to comply with CDC guidelines and Governor’s orders.
We are still touring by appointment only, and we are taking all the necessary precautions such as using Lysol wipes to open doors, wearing booties over our shoes, using hand sanitizer, and washing hands before and after tours. We encourage our clients to do the same, and we will not tour if anyone is feeling under the weather.
For the safety of our clients, sellers and ourselves, we encourage virtual tours and meetings utilizing Zoom or Facetime.
Whether renting or buying, always consult with your local real estate agent for advice. We’d love to help you with the process! Contact one our team members today — Jillian Keck Hogan, Kristina Eells and Adrianna Vallario.
If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.
McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria