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Ask McEnearney: How Did the Real Estate Market for the Second Half of 2020 Compare to 2019?


This week’s Q&A column is written by David Howell, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant market news, contact David at 703-738-9513 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: How did the real estate market for the second half of 2020 compare to 2019 in the City of Alexandria?

Answer: The City of Alexandria rebounded from COVID-19’s impact on the market, but as is true for other close-in jurisdictions, that rebound has been a little uneven.

Total unit sales were up a very healthy 37% in the second half of 2020 compared to the same time in 2019. That increase would likely have been higher had there been more detached and attached homes to purchase. There was an average drop of 33% of these types of homes actively on the market, but it was a different story for condos.

Historically, condos make up about 40% of all the homes on the market at any given time in Alexandria, followed by attached homes at 35% and detached homes at 25%. But COVID changed that relationship almost overnight.

As the region emerged from the COVID-induced shutdowns in May, some clear patterns emerged. Attached home inventory was down an average of 22% and detached home inventory was off 44%. But condo inventory began a steady and significant climb as the charts below indicate. A high percentage of Alexandria’s condo units are in buildings with elevators, and it is clear that a growing number of the owners of these types of properties wanted to exit that lifestyle. By the end of the year, active condo inventory constituted 80% of all the homes on the market. Overall condo inventory was up 254%, and the inventory of smaller units — studios and one-bedrooms — was up even more.

That shift in the supply vs. demand equation gives condo buyers more negotiating leverage that buyers of attached and detached homes do not have in this market. And that is among the reasons that condos were on the market 32% longer in the second half of 2020 compared to the second half of 2019.

For more in-depth, local real estate news and to read our full market report for the second half of 2020, visit our website.

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

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