F.C. Housing Prices Still Highest in Area Per Newest Data

July 5, 2018 9:00 AM0 comments

EVEN WITH the City of Falls Church experiencing some high housing costs in various categories, the market remains attractive to buyers. (Photo: News-Press)

Despite a drop in housing prices, supply and demand continue to make Fall Church the most expensive location in the region in multiple metrics.

According to May 2018 data provided by ShowingTime based on listing activity, the median City of Falls Church sales prices was $619,000 for this May, a drop of $210,000 when compared to May 2017, and a decline of almost $100,000 in the median price year-to-date change from $747,500 to $649,700.

Along with that, Falls Church joins Arlington as the only two local jurisdictions to have their per-square-foot cost of housing exceed $400, with the City totaling at $424, up 2.7 percent from 2017.

Overall, the median for the Washington, D.C. Metro area climbed to $435,900 from $425,000 year-to-date and was $465,000 in May.

The Falls Church housing inventory rose by almost 26 percent from last May to this May.

More inventory is good news for buyers, but it’s still tough to find a house in the Little City where houses last in the marketplace an average of only seven days, a drop from eight days last year, according to the report.

The D.C. metro region median was nine days.

Maureen Dawson, a Northern Virginia real estate veteran of 22 years, thinks buyers are attracted to Falls Church because of its outstanding location inside the Beltway, its proximity to two Metro stations, the good schools, restaurants, and the shorter commute than Vienna or Reston residents have on their way into the District of Columbia.

Mary Bowen and David Gillis, managing brokers for the Long and Foster Falls Church office, agree, and advise buyers to work with a realtor who may have an inside track on homes coming up for sale which are not listed online.

“Be prepared for a competitive market,” they wrote in an email to the News-Press. Buyers unfamiliar with Falls Church experience initial “sticker shock” according to the brokers.

Sellers get almost 100 percent of their asking prices throughout the region, says the report.

Louise Molton is the principal broker at Re/Max in Falls Church and she thinks prices do not discourage buyers as much as multiple offers on the properties they want do.

“There is only one winner, no one gets a trophy if they come in second,” she wrote in an email.

The stronger a buyer’s position, the better off the buyer is, Dawson said.

“Some buyers may have to travel a bit more and look in areas where there’s not as much competition.”
She has seen lots of changes in real estate over the 35 years she’s lived in the area.

“Now there are not a lot of move-ups when you start in a townhome, buy a starter home and then move to a larger one,” she said.

Inventory is smaller compared to the past when retirees sold and moved away.

“People in their 60s and 70s are not running away from the area any more.

They are staying closer to their families, working longer and not moving to Florida and other places in the south when they hit 65.

“The more I work, the sharper I stay,” Dawson said.

She advises buyers to have patience. “It’s a tight market all over,” she says but no one beats Falls Church when it comes to location.

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