The State of the DC Area Real Estate Market

by David Howell on July 15, 2019


One of the things I enjoy most about shooting this video series is that I get to see so many of our fantastic listings – like this one marketed by Linda French of our McLean office.  Located in the prestigious Pickett’s Reserve in Fairfax City, 3437 Preservation Drive has a bright, open floor plan with 4 bedrooms and 4 full baths. You’ll find some uncommon touches, like a brick paver driveway and a master bedroom suite that spans the entire back of the second level.  And it’s in a great location, just minutes away from the shopping and dining of the Mosaic District and Tysons Corner, and easy access to George Mason University and Fairfax Hospital. Take a look at the info below, click on the link and enjoy!

Now let’s take a look at some recent trends in absorption rates – which is simply the percentage of available inventory that goes under contract.  We take a detailed look at very local market conditions every month. And since we’re here in Fairfax City today in this terrific home priced at $1,200,000, the absorption rate for detached homes priced between $1,000,000 and $1,250,000 is right around 25%.  We consider that a balanced market. In fact, most areas in Northern Virginia outside the Beltway have very similar absorption rates.

Inside the Beltway, it’s a different story. In Bethesda, Maryland rates are in the mid-thirties, and in Washington, DC, and Arlington, Virginia absorption rates for detached homes in this price range are 45%.  That’s solidly in the seller’s market category.

But to give you an idea of how different market conditions can be, let’s take a quick look at the City of Alexandria.  There is fairly limited inventory – and demand – for detached homes priced just over $1,000,000, and the absorption rates have been averaging about 25%, just like outside the beltway.  But the market for similarly priced townhomes is dramatically different – we’re seeing the market absorb 60% of the inventory every month.

Even within the same community, the scales between buyer and seller negotiating power can tip in very different ways, and if you’d like to know more about how things are in your neighborhood, we encourage you to call your favorite McEnearney Associate.

As always, we appreciate your checking in with us – and don’t forget to check out the link to this wonderful home!


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3437 Preservation Drive, Fairfax, VA

Listed with Linda French, McLean Office



Located on the eastern edge of Fairfax City, Pickett’s Reserve is an enclave of semi-custom homes, built by award-winning Courtland Homes. The natural setting is complemented by the varied architecture of 88 homes, all built with 4 sides brick, wood garage doors, and brick paver patios. Community paths wind through stone gazebos and lead to an adjacent 15-acre wooded park. In addition, the 40-mile Cross County Trail can be accessed at the community ball fields, just a short distance away.
Shopping, dining, and entertainment can be found in historic Fairfax City, the Mosaic District, numerous nearby retail centers and the coming soon “Scout on the Circle” shopping district. Residents enjoy easy access to the Vienna Metro, 1-495, Tyson’s Corner, George Mason University and Fairfax Inova Hospital.

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Before joining McEnearney Associates in 1996, David was the owner and Principal Broker of his own real estate company for 12 years. David was the Managing Broker of our McLean office from 1996 - 2010, and was named our Chief Information Officer in September, 2010. In that role, he is responsible for the firm' technology, market information and public relations, and is the author of our MarketWatch newsletter. He is also Principal Broker for McEnearney Associates in Maryland, and is an Associate Broker in Virginia and Washington, DC.

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