Friday, March 18, 2011

MRIS February 2011 Sales Report: Zip Code 22314

I wrote this sales analysis for my good friends at Urban Turf, who published a more polished version a few days ago on their site.

In this post, I cross the Potomac to visit Alexandria, VA and look at contracts closed in February in zip code 22314 using data released by MRIS. The zip code is roughly bordered by the Potomac River on the east, I-495 on the south, N. Quaker Lane / the Metro rail line on the west, and Janneys Lane / Route 7 on the north. Old Town Alexandria is located in this zip code.

Fifty-one units sold in zip code 22314 in February 2011. Key points in February's data:
  • Compared to the same month in 2010, aggregate dollar volume was significantly higher, up 75.08%. The number of units sold rose 54.55%. The average sales price increased 13.29%, but the median sales price was a smidgen lower, down less than 1%.
  • In terms of units sold, it was almost evenly divided between homes and condos. Condos  accounted for 23 of the 51 units sold. The number of condos sold was 27.78% higher compared to February 2010. The average price for a condo was down 1.53%.
  • While unit sales were almost evenly divided, homes trounced condos in dollar volume. Homes represented about two-thirds of the dollar volume in February 2011; not really surprising since the average price of a home was 72% higher than that of a condo. Twenty-eight homes were sold, an 86.67% over February 2010. Average prices rose, too, up 15.29%. Three bedroom homes dominated that segment of the market.
  • Two attached 4 bedroom homes sold for more than $1MM; one for $1-2.49MM, the other for $2.5-4.9MM. Condos topped out at $800K, with 4 selling between $600-799K.
In February, zip code 22314 represented 50% of Alexandria's dollar volume and slightly less than 37% of unit sales. In comparison to Alexandria as a whole, its average price was 35.55% higher and its median price was 33.59% higher. 

At February's sales rate there's a 3.65 month supply of condos and 3.89 months supply for houses listed in 22314. When I look more closely at the market by segmentation, it's a sellers market for all segments listed under $1MM. Above $1MM, I'd say those folks selling a home in that pricier segment will have a tougher time. Thirty of the 109 homes with active listings are priced at $1MM or more. Based on February 2011's sales, that's a 15 months supply. Nine of the 84 condos listed are priced at higher than $1MM.

The market in 22314 is recovering from its 2008 low, but it hasn't yet returned to the glory days of 2007. More homes closed or went under contract in February 2007 and, interestingly, fewer went under contract with contingencies.

The most critical factor in this February's better performance was the sale of 17 attached homes with 3 bedrooms and 5 attached homes with 4 or more bedrooms. In unit terms, these were increases exceeding 400% and with their higher average prices, they made a huge contribution to the total dollar volume closed last month. 

My armchair analysis is that if you're looking for a home or condo in 22314 that's priced under $1MM, fast action and financial preparedness on your part will be important. If you can afford the pricier things in life, time may be on your side.      

Detailed Data
Average Sales Price

Dollar Volume

Transaction Volume

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