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Fairfax County: Virginia Suburbs Booms Next To Washington D.C.

 Realty Times Feature Article by Blanche Evans

Fairfax County, Virginia, home to founding fathers George Washington and George Mason, is still at the heart of patriotic home buying and in a rising sellers market.

Says Realtor Karen Kruschka, "Economic expansion in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC has increased the demand for residential housing of all types. All indications are that this trend will continue for some time to come. If it does, there is every reason to believe a home purchase will yield positive returns. There are attractive features to be found in just about every area of the county. Of great importance is the fact that Fairfax County has one of the top school systems in the country. It is multicultural due to its proximity to the nation's capital. There are homes to suit every need in most price ranges."

Some Realtors say that price trends, however, are mixed.

"Some are up, some down," says Realtor Nancy Volpe. "Homes in prime condition and location are still selling quickly and with multiple contracts. In other areas there has been some softening...longer days on the market and price reductions. Inventory is up in some areas and down in others. It's still a sellers' market but the "frenzy" has quieted for now. That's not unusual because of summertime."

Yet, sales remain strong.

"July sales exceeded those of last July by 3 percent but 2002 sales year-to-date are nearly the same as for 2001," says Realtor David Rathgeber. "Inventory, the number of homes for sale, increased somewhat during July but is still near the very low level of this time last year.

"The market index remains in hot sellers' market territory at 0.9 months supply, the same as this time last year, as well as last month," he explains. "The hot sellers' market will continue to ease slightly as is expected at this time of year. Townhomes and condominiums are the hottest market segment with detached homes in third place. Many close-in condominiums are gaining value at 2 to 3% monthly.

Advises Rathgeber, "Buyers and their agents need to take aggressive action to win the home of their choice. Some hot (somewhat under-priced) homes are drawing over 20 offers in just a few days. Sellers and their agents need the very latest market information to price their home right, to promote multiple offers and to negotiate effectively. Dealing with multiple offers is fun for sellers, a nightmare for buyers and a critical skill for agents."

Blanche Evans is the publisher of Agent News and the associate editor of Realty Times, the Internet's largest independent real estate news service. She is the author of two best-selling real estate books: The Hottest e-Careers In Real Estate, Real Estate Education Company, an Internet marketing primer for real estate professionals, and The Insider's Guide To Buying And Selling Your Home Using The Internet, Dearborn, a consumer homebuying and selling guide. In 2000, she was recognized by the editors of REALTOR(r) Magazines as one of the 25 Most Influential People In Real Estate.

Published: August 9, 2002

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