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Ask McEnearney: How Did the Challenges in 2020 Affect the Real Estate Market?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Lisa Groover of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Lisa at 703.919.4426 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: How did the challenges in 2020 affect the real estate market in Alexandria?

Answer: It is a good thing I had my two-week winter vacation in St. Martin right before the lockdown, because surprisingly enough it was extremely busy from the minute I got back in town.

Everyone, both in and outside of the industry, speculated about whether the market would take a nosedive, be similar to 2019 or increase over the year prior. With record breaking low interest rates as one of the motivating factors, it turned out to be an incredible year.

The year-end numbers in the City of Alexandria showed us that, for the most part, detached homes and townhouses were very much a seller’s market, with continued lack of inventory and more buyers in the mix. Multiple offers were not uncommon on properties under $1 million. Condo sales were more of a balanced market, with some price points dipping into a buyer’s market. Some say condo dwellers were motivated to move away from residences where they would need to share common spaces, especially elevators.

The concerns for the health and safety of buyers, sellers and agents required significant modifications in the sales process. Virtual and 3D tours and videos replaced the traditional Sunday afternoon live open houses. Social media, agent networking and alternative advertising became key components of a property’s marketing strategy. If a live open house was held, they were either by appointment or scheduled in a way to provide social distancing with everyone wearing masks, taking off their shoes and using wipes to open doors and cabinets.

For McEnearney, and for me personally, 2020 was an excellent year! The company as a whole exceeded the $2 billion mark in sales, while the Alexandria office was up 22.7% over 2019. Alexandria City increased by 15%, with ZIP code 22314 up 24%. Listings in the Alexandria office ranged from $137,000 to $4,825,000.

When I evaluated my numbers for 2020, I was thrilled to have achieved my best year yet by tripling my volume over 2019. Buyers made up 39%, sellers 61%,and townhouses made up 72.7% of my business. While in most years, referrals from past clients, friends and neighbors make up over 75% of my annual sales — my friends and neighbors themselves were the buyers and sellers of over 50% of the transactions in 2020.

Special thanks to McEnearney for providing the support, guidance and training needed for agents to modify their marketing plans as the months accumulated. Even with the offices closed for a good part of the year, we had access to the management team, marketing and support staff, and tools required to continue to exceed our clients’ expectations.

Lisa Groover is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Old Town Alexandria. As an active member of the community since 1989, Lisa specializes in Alexandria and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with her friends and neighbors in Old Town Village.

In addition to enjoying the Old Town lifestyle and the art-related events and activities, she is a member of a number of volunteer organizations. Having had eight golden retrievers, she is dedicated to helping other dog owners through the challenges of renting, buying and selling their home.

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. Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria 

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