by Corey Stewart, Board of County Supervisors
Prince William County Government’s “Infocus” newsletter, Summer 2006, Vol 5, Issue 2, p. 7
“It’s hard not to notice the proliferation of houses for sale in the area. In the Washington, D.C. Metro Region, sales are dropping most quickly in Prince William. As the graph below shows, the inventory of homes for sale has soared, standing at an all time high of 4,015 as of March 2006 and sales are down 27% from last year.
“The Washington Post reported in May that seven out of the top ten zip codes in the entire region with the most number of single-family homes and townhouses for sale were in Prince William, including 22193, 20155, 22191, 22192, 20136, 20169 and 22026. According to experts cited by the Post, the increased inventory of homes is due to large developments put up by builders during the housing boom. Since the year 2000, builders have constructed an average of 4,800 units per year in Prince William, and thousands more have been approved, mostly along the Route 1 and Linton Hall Road corridors.
“The volume of unsold homes represents the highest level ever for Prince William County, and the weakening volume of monthly sales exacerbates the market impact of the inventory overhang. Given the dramatic gap between sales and inventory, it is unlikely that there will be notable gains in home prices until that gap has narrowed. The average days on the market of a residential unit was 66 days, compared to 28 days a year earlier. The ‘days on market’ more than doubled by 135.7%.
“The Post also indicated that volume and price gains have tailed off concurrent with a sharp increase in available homes for sale. Higher long-term interest rates have also begun to contribute to demand reduction.
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