Arlington, Alexandria have most home sales in past 30 days

August 21, 2013

Photo by Bill O’LearyJoe and Kerry Mutschelknaus and their children earlier this year stand in front of their home in Arlington that sold in 27 hours.

The hottest place to buy a home this summer has been in Arlington and Alexandria, according to the latest data compiled by StreetEasy.

The real estate information Web site that launched in the D.C. metro area earlier this year and was acquired by Zillow on Monday looked at which Zip codes in the Washington metro area had the most sales from July 22 to Aug. 19.

Even taking into account that Zip codes vary in size and that the types and price points of properties fluctuate widely across the region, Arlington and Alexandria had by far the most sales in this area in the past month.

The two jurisdictions accounted for eight of the top 10 sales by Zip code. Two Alexandria Zip codes, 22314 and 22304, had the most sales, 32 and 30 respectively, while Arlington Zip codes 22201, 22207, 22204, 22206 and 22203 held the next five spots. Alexandria’s 22301 was tied for seventh, followed by Centreville’s Centerville’s 20120. Only one Zip code outside of Virginia cracked the top 10. Washington’s 20009, which encompasses parts of Columbia Heights, Logan Circle and Adams Morgan, came in tied for ninth with Centreville.

“Usually what that boils down to is location,” said Mike Lekas, a real estate agent with Long and Foster. “We’ve been seeing a trend where a lot more people are trying to move closer in. It was a trend in the early 2000s to move out to get the big house. Now, I think everybody is tired of commuting.”

Most of Lekas’s sales take place in Alexandria and Arlington. He noted that a few new communities are being built in 22314, which could have contributed to the increase in sales in that Zip code. He also pointed out that if you combined 22207 and 22205, which are located adjacent to one another, they would cover about the same area as 22314. It’s something to keep in mind when comparing one Zip code to another.

Maryland Zip codes don’t appear on the list until No. 29. Gaithersburg’s 20878 and Olney’s 20832 tied for that spot. Bonnie Casper, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Long and Foster and the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors 2013 Realtor of the Year, attributes the lack of sales in Maryland to a lack of inventory. She had a client recently who wanted to buy closer to the District, but wound up in Gaithersburg because there wasn’t anything nearer than that in her price point.

“Not only is there little on the market, people want value,” she said. “They are not just going to pay anything.”

A random check of Maryland Zip codes showed fewer listings for the most part than Virginia Zip codes. In 22314, the Alexandria Zip code that had the most sales in the region from July 22 to Aug. 19, there were 280 active listings. For that same time period, there were only 105 active listings in Bethesda’s 20816. Rockville’s 20850 had 194 active listings, while Silver Spring’s 20910 had 120 active listings.

Low inventory and rising interest rates appear to have cooled home sales region-wide. According to the latest housing data by RealEstate Business Intelligence, last month’s pending sales were down 7.7 percent compared to June. The report also noted that active listings in July were down 36.5 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

“The summer has slowed down,” Lekas said. “I’m not sure if this is a normal summer slowdown or if the slightly higher interest rates have had an impact.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the company that Bonnie Casper is affiliated with. She is with Long and Foster. 

Kathy Orton is a reporter and Web editor for the Real Estate section. She covers the Washington metropolitan area housing market. Previously, she wrote for the Sports section. She came to The Washington Post in 1996 from the Los Angeles Daily News. She also worked at the Cincinnati Post. She is the author of the book, “Outside the Limelight: Basketball in the Ivy League.”
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