The phone rang and it was Craig in Texas who has been getting daily email updates from me, “Doug, what’s going on in your market up there?”
Again, my phone rang and it was Pat in L.A., “so Doug, based on our research things look a little “heated” over there in those Vienna real estate prices. What are your thoughts?”
“Hey Doug, it’s Mark from UrbanTurf in D.C. Can you talk with me about the days-on-market stats in Vienna and what you are seeing?”
It may be early to recap the “Spring Market”, but the uptick in prices that everyone saw who was searching for a home to buy in Vienna, McLean or almost anywhere in Northern Virginia certainly doesn’t require any deep academic analysis to grasp.
The trend was up, and the trend was down
Take a look at this chart of sales activity in Vienna over the last six months. Hint: it’s the “up” chart
And look at this chart showing days-on-market ~ DOM . Hint: it’s the “down” chart
These charts are cool and most of you geeky chartists love this stuff. But, there was more to what happened here… at least in my opinion.
In my opinion: that Detached DOM number could have been even lower because it was impacted by the fact a few builders built on less-desirable lots which took longer to get find buyers.
The Perfect Home Buyer Storm
There were two, actually three legitimate types of buyers who were all aggressively searching to buy homes in Vienna.
- Regular buyers who were looking for a home for themselves
- Builders backed by deep pocketed investors looking for tear-down opportunities to build spec homes
- Regular buyers looking to buy an old place, tear it down and then build their own custom home
Basically, regular buyers were rushing to see new listings as they popped up, while the builders were checking out the lot size and set-backs (since the Town of Vienna has smaller max-size limits), and while the build their own buyers were trying to buy anything and then figure out a plan. Yup, on every property. Every property!
The results were aggressive offers that weren’t based on appraisals, and were often cash offers buying the home in “as-is” condition.
What is influencing Vienna Real Estate?
Now, I live in Vienna already and am totally sold on the location, but I feel that people started to get a quality of life theme that I have preached here for the past couple of years. There is a distinct quality of life that’s the key factor working to support the Vienna real estate market.
Here are some obvious influencers:
- W&OD Bike Path
- Whole Foods
- A variety of good restaurants
- Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
- The Metro ~ The Orange Line in the South and new Silver Line in the Northeast
- Expanded Fairfax Connector rush hour service (including up Beulah Road)
- Good Schools
- Close to work in Tysons, Reston, Fair Oaks, or at three Hospitals
- 15 minutes to Dulles International Airport
- Oh, and you can make it home to your kid’s soccer / lacrosse / softball etc. games (or coach the team)
My last comment for now… new homes over $1.2 million aren’t unusual any more. Last year, there were 79 building permits issued in the Town of Vienna which, in my opinion, indicated an optimistic view of the future of real estate here.
For example when I remodeled my house ten years ago, my short street had two “new” homes out of 24. Today, there are seven “new” homes exist and five have undergone extensive remodeling.
If there is a specific question you have, then leave a comment or send me an email. I meet with people all the time to look at their homes and answer their questions, so there probably is nothing that I haven’t been asked before!