Western Loudoun outperforms county in real estate market

If one were to look at the county’s real estate market as just a west side story, it would show two years of increasing sales.

The Western Loudoun real estate market, including the towns of Middleburg, Purcellville, Round Hill, Hamilton, Lovettsville and Waterford, saw an increase of sales from 2008 to 2010. In 2008, 465 homes were sold in Western Loudoun alone. That number spiked to 510 homes sold in 2010, according to market research conducted by housing analyst Rosemary deButts.

“We are cooking right along and seeing multiple offers,” said Sue Puleo, an associate broker at Prudential Carruthers in Hamilton. Puleo said the agents in her office started to see an uptick in sales starting the first week of March this year. She attributes increased sales activity to “a lot of pent up demand.”

“A lot of the sellers who have been waiting for the market to get better are thinking that now is a good time because it seems pretty stable,” she said.

So far this year, the total sales in western Loudoun in January and February 2011 have outperformed sales in the same period last year, deButts said.

“Preliminary results indicate that sales increased 6 percent compared to revised January figures and 21 percent compared to last February,” she said.

DeButts also noted that the February 2010 blizzards didn’t significantly affect Western Loudoun sales as much as it did throughout the rest of the county.

However, congruent with the rest of the county, median sales prices in Western Loudoun fluctuated. The median sales price in 2008 was $410,000 before it fell to $390,000 in 2009. The median sales price bounced back to $410,000 in 2010. So far in 2011, 66 homes have sold in the area at a median sales price of $399,000, according to deButts.

“Maybe they don’t get [the price] they want on the selling end, but make up for it on the buying end,” Puleo said.

The February median sales price in Western Loudoun declined to $390,000 from $409,000 in January, a drop of 5 percent. However, the median sales price was $385,000 in January 2010, which results in a 1 percent increase, she said. Since January 2010, the lowest monthly median sales price in Western Loudoun was $346,916 in May 2010 and the highest median sales price was $445,000 in August 2010.

Looking at the county as a whole, the median sales price was $354,250 in February and the average sales price was $410,388, according to the Dulles Area Association of Realtors monthly sales statistics report. These are significant increases compared to January’s median sales price of $314,394 and its average sales price of $363,394. Additionally, 251 homes sold in January and 272 homes sold in February throughout the county.

Round Hill was the shining star in sales last month. Twelve homes were sold in February, but with a median sales price of $325,000, the second lowest median up from Hamilton’s $249,978 median sales price for three homes sold in February. Purcellville came in second for total sales – ten homes were sold with a median sales price of $430,000. Conversely, only one home sold in Waterford last month with a median sales price of $620,000.

“I don’t think anyone expects it to be a dramatic change, but we’re in stable mode, which is a good place to be,” Puleo said.

Contact the writer at hhager@timespapers.com.

Below is a breakdown of the average days a home spends on the market in western Loudoun in the following price ranges. These sales are from February 2011 only.

Less than $200,000:  Four sales; the average days spent on the market was 45 days.
$200,000 – $399,999: 15 sales; 142 days on average.
$400,000 – $599,999: Nine sales; 191 days on average.
$600,000 – $799,999: Five sales; 70 days on average.
$800,000 – $999,999: Zero sales.
More than $1 million:  Two sales; spent an average of 669 days on the market.

This article was first published by Hannah Hager on LoudounTimes.com.

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