September Housing Recap – Falls Church

I went into to greater detail regarding my approach to the monthly local statistics on the Vienna post, so if you are interested in some additional insight into my perspective head on over there. However, for the remainder of the area’s updates I figured it best to jump right in.

Like Arlington, looking at Falls Church real estate stats is always a tough task because the market performance is extremely diverse among zip codes and among neighborhoods. Yet again, as with Arlington, my statements in the video above about the broader market are apt. In Falls Church the most concentrated single family home activity as a whole took place in the $300k – $499k price ranges, which tends to be entry level in Falls Church as a whole for single family homes. 39 out of 118 total single family transactions took place in this tier. Entry level for single family homes in Falls Church City is $500+ or higher. Also of note, all condo sales but 1 were below $350k, the majority of which were below $250k.

The broader picture for Falls Church:

22041: Avg. Price Down 18.4% Compared to Sept. 2009 / Time on Market Down 45.3%
22042: Avg. Price Up 13.6% Compared to Sept. 2009 / Time on Market Down 23.4%
22043: Avg. Price Down 7.8% Compared to Sept. 2009 / Time on Market Up 14.3%
22044: Avg. Price Down 1.9% Compared to Sept. 2009 / Time on Market Down 11.3%
22046: Avg. Price Down 25.1% Compared to Sept. 2009/ Time on Market Down 32.47%
Again, we see that looking at Falls Church as a whole does not make a whole lot of sense. With a span of nearly 38 percentage points in price gain and price losses it is clear that we need to break things down to a more local level to get a clear picture. It is also the case that you have many cases where prices are down AND days on market are down significantly as well. On the surface this doesn’t seem to make sense. To understand this we need to look at the remaining active inventory, which I will do a bit of below.

Here are a few sub-plots for Falls Church:

SUB-PLOT #1: The Condo Hopefuls
I mentioned above that the all but one condo sale fell below $350k, the total sold was 44 units. At the end of September the total number of condo units still Active was 207, and of those 207 Active listings only 11 are priced above $400k. This inventory is market by dated units, short sales, and foreclosures.

SUB-PLOT #2: The Conventional Surprise
With the majority of homes sold in Falls Church falling below the $499k line I personally made the assumption that most of the loans were likely VA or FHA. However, there were nearly 30% more conventional loans than VA and FHA combined. I see two main reasons for this. First, many purchasers in this market are investors, and second in many cases the homes condition may prevent a purchaser from using VA or FHA which have tighter home condition guidelines. However, there is an FHA option that is perfect for this market call the FHA (203k) Rehab loan.

(data source for the above: ©RealEstate Business Intelligence, an MRIS Company, Data provided by MRIS as of Oct. 5, 2010)

Here are some charts for Falls Church covering some additional data points:

(data good as of September 24, 2010, and covers 22042, 22043, and 22046 only)

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