The market is shifting and price appreciation in Northern Virginia is slowing. The shortage of homes for sale continues partly due to the inadequate production of new homes during and after the covid pandemic and the large influx of first-time buyers. Families who refinanced to low interest rate mortgages (2 to 4%) will be reluctant to sell and move up the housing ladder.
If you want to buy now and freeze the price appreciation, you may be interested in an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). They were not popular during the low rate years. There may be innovations such as longer times between rate changes or capped adjustments coming as the mortgage lenders adjust their offerings to be more competitive. Be prepared to live with your decision for a while.
Should the economy slip into recession and rates drop, a refinance could be possible, and price reductions could be more common than they are now.
Painting: Chemin du Cap from LeBon