- The Washington Times - Friday, November 14, 2008

Although we didn’t get an “October bounce” last month, sales were higher than a year ago - at least in Virginia.

There were 6,163 existing-home sales in October, which is about 700 fewer than we saw in September. That’s somewhat unusual because October often experiences a little boost in sales compared to September. The economy was quite worrisome last month, and that probably made some folks hesitant to buy.

Take a closer look a the October resales here.

Not everyone was hesitant. Virginia sales were up 64 percent over October 2007. Affordability continues to draw investors and owner-occupants to places like Prince William County. Prices there were 46 percent lower than they were a year ago, but sales were up 188 percent. Still, Virginia’s sales were lower than they were in September.

Sales on the Maryland side of the river were down 13 percent compared to October 2007. Montgomery and Prince George’s counties fared better than the other Maryland counties, with sales down by 4 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Sales in Anne Arundel were down by 28 percent compared to a year ago.

Consider October 2007, when Maryland sales were higher than Virginia’s by 100. Just a year later, Virginia beat Maryland by 1,650.

While many buyers - and plenty of investors - are being drawn to Virginia right now, the best deals won’t last forever. In addition, if prices fall a little further in Maryland, I bet we’ll see more buyer interest there in 2009.

Contact Chris Sicks by e-mail.

The statistics in this story reflect a metropolitan area that includes the Maryland counties of Montgomery, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Howard, Charles and Frederick; the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania and Stafford; the city of Alexandria; and the District.

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