January 2014’s “Active Listings” show a 25% improvement over last year at 2,391 on the market verses 1,909 a year ago, indicating an increase in confidence in the Northern Virginia housing market. Experts suggest that continued increases in sales prices will support the further growth of our region’s realty market.
On the other hand, “Existing Home Sales” were down in January from a year earlier a circumstance that many are attributing to the severe weather and prolonged freezing temperatures. February’s “Existing Home Sales” numbers may also be unreliable as the weather persisted to interfere with sales, unless of course it shows an increase. Further the bank-mediated sales (foreclosures and short sales), which are less sensitive to season, have not been as strong of late in our region, the absence is more noticeable in the winter when seasonal volumes are low.
The good news is that our seller’s market carries on across the board, with multiple offers not at all uncommon, and buyers still showing the confidence to bid homes up past asking price for the right properties.
Unfortunately the reports from several weeks ago that the stink bug population in our region would be greatly reduced by our severe winter, to me a welcome exchange, seem to have been incorrect. According to a couple of notable entomologists interviewed by the post, our winter hasn’t been severe enough to have any substantive impact on the stink bug population. I don’t know about you, but I was really hoping this one was true.