I found myself rather shocked when perusing the RealtyTimes' "Market Conditions" portion of their website. (Although I don't know why I torture myself with that, when it seems the market conditions reported by local agents are always "it's a favorable time to buy or sell a home).
This was my great surprise:
A Fairfax County agent, Steve Hawkins, reports the following:
GREETINGS FROM FAIRFAX COUNTY! In the month of February the number of homes sold was 809 compared to 1591 in 2006. The condo's sold was 241 compared to 496 in 2006.
Whoa!! There was suddenly a 50% drop in YOY sales and nobody noticed? Where is this data coming from?
Answer: The usual culprit -- bad data from the NVAR website. Indeed, their "February 2007" reports have the following:
Total Properties sold:
Of course, in their February 2006 report, they reported a total of only 956 sales (as opposed to this fantasy 2087 number) in 2006! (738 singles/townhomes and 218 condos).
I noted a posting on March 8 on the "Northern Virginia Real Estate Guide" (Linked to your right), entitled "NVAR Produces New Format Market Reports". It turns out our buddies at the GMU Center for Regional Analysis are now providing the new market reports for the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors. (www.nvar.com).
The moral of this story is, I recommend checking the NVAR reports after reading the monthly statistics produced from the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems.
I find the MRIS reports to be slightly more timely, and one can search by zip code.
According to the MRIS reports, for February 2007, Fairfax County had 1,039 units sold in February 2007, and 1,009 units sold in 2006, or a 2.97 increase. I knew there had been talk (from David Lereah, etc.) that the market was "stabilizing", so the ho-hum 2.97 percent was about what I had expected.