Loudoun County: Where the Sales Are

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
Ashburn Village 3 14 2 19
Ashburn Farm 2 7 0 9
Belmont CC 3 3 0 6
Belmont Greene 0 1 0 1
Brambleton 4 3 0 7
Broadlands 2 4 0 6
Lansdowne 3 3 0 6
Loudoun Valley Est. 2 1 0 3
Spring Lakes 3 0 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.

  • http://www.HeatherElias.com Heather Elias

    Kira,
    Did you leave out 20175 on purpose? I think to get a true picture of Leesburg you’d want to look at that zip code too. Are you a Realtor? I couldn’t tell from the information on this website. Properties that are under contract with a kickout (home sale contingency) would still show up in the searchable MLS, but may be contingent for longer than the two week window. Something to consider when you look at the total number of properties under contract.

    Most Realtors I work with have also noticed what you have: a huge uptick in folks attending open houses, calling for information on listings, and visiting websites looking for homes. This has started to translate into contracts written, we will see if it continues!

    Best wishes,
    Heather Elias, Realtor
    Weichert Realtors
    Leesburg, VA
    Licensed in VA
    (Broker info added for disclosure compliance)

  • http://washingtondc.redfin.com/blog/author/kira.mayrides Kira

    Hi Heather,

    Yes, I did intentionally leave out 20175, since it’s not part of my coverage area. As I stated in this entry (and others as well), I cover 20147, 20148, and 20176. Even within 20176, my coverage will be pretty limited: Lansdowne, and occasionally River Creek, Potomac Station, and a sprinkling of smaller communities. There will be times when I do “special reports” on other zip codes, such as 20175, but anything beyond the 3 zip codes I mentioned above would provide way more info than I would be able to assimilate into 3 posts per week. I am always open to requests for info on areas I don’t normally cover.

    You are absolutely right that homes with a kickout clause could be contingent for longer than a 2-week window. However, all of the properties I found under contract were listed as being contingent with no kickout clause, so it wasn’t necessarily germane to this post. I did mention that any of the properties could end up back on the market, but the point of this entry was to illustrate the fact that even in unfavorable conditions, serious buyers are still out there. I do “Past Sales” posts, but since it takes a while for sales to make it into the system, there is usually a lag of at least several weeks before a sale can be posted. I thought it’d be interesting to do a report on the here and now. I plan on checking back to see how many of the properties I saw under contract actually made it to closing and posting the results in an entry here.

    I am not a realtor, nor are any of the other Redfin bloggers. Redfin specifically hires bloggers who are not realtors but possess a deep knowledge of the area they will be covering.

    Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment!

    Regards,
    Kira

  • jfeickert

    Good article with good information. Hope this is a harbinger of things to come.

  • Kira

    Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it!