Actually, to be more accurate, the title of this entry should be “Where the Contracts Are”, but that’s not as catchy.
Last week, I promised to dig up some good news regarding Loudoun County real estate. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to keep that promise, until I noticed that I was coming across an unexpected number of houses that were under contract while performing my searches. The MLS available to the public will feature listings that have already gone under contract, so long as they still have active contingencies. For instance, a house under contract but that still has to make it through the HOA, financing or home inspection contingencies will show up in a search; once the contingencies have been satisfied, the listing will no longer appear in the public MLS. Contingencies are normally satisfied within the first two weeks, which means that any houses under contract that are still showing up in my searches only recently went under contract.
I thought tracking down all the properties under contract in the areas I cover would be an easy way to show that Loudoun’s real estate market is still (somewhat) alive and kicking, even though it feels like nothing is selling right now. When I did my search, I set no parameters but narrowed it down to the 20147, 20148, and 20176 (Ashburn and Leesburg) zip codes. Although the search was not complicated, I should have realized it would actually not be easy. I ended up having to comb my way through 1194 listings. By the time I was done, my retinas were screaming at me. I might even need new glasses.
To further winnow the results, I decided to stick to the communities I normally cover. Within the 8 communities that I usually cover, there are 57 properties under contract. I did include one small community that I usually don’t, Spring Lakes, because there are 3 single families under contract there in the upper $500s and lower $600s, which means that it actually kept pace with (and even outpaced) some larger communities in terms of contracts.
It would take up way too much space for me to feature every listing under contract, so I’m just going to summarize the results and feature a few listings that I thought deserved a little extra attention.
|Community||SFs under contract||THs under contract||Condos under contract||Total|
|Loudoun Valley Est.||2||1||0||3|
Ashburn Village showed the other communities who’s boss with 19 properties under contract, while poor little Belmont Greene brought up the rear with only 1. Ashburn Village also touted the lowest-priced property under contract, a condo that was last listed at $169,900. The prize for most expensive went to Lansdowne, with a McMansion that was last listed at $3,565,000.
Of course, it’s possible that any of these properties could end up back on the market since none of them have actually been sold. But it’s worth noting that even in the middle of winter, in a down market, and in the midst of a credit crunch, properties in a wide variety of sizes and price points are finding buyers. And I think that’s good news.