Low inventory of homes on the market continued to affect real estate sales in the nation’s capital, much as it has with the rest of the Mid-Atlantic region, according to the Long & Foster Market Minute report for 15 areas within Washington, D.C. Median sale prices fell 5 percent in August in the district compared to a year earlier, while inventory was down 13 percent.
Adams Morgan and U Street homes sold at a rapid pace, sitting on the market for only 23 days on average. In the pricier Spring Valley and Wesley Heights neighborhoods, the number of units sold was up by 49 percent year over year even as inventory declined by 16 percent.
There was a 1.6-month supply of homes in the district in August, down 16 percent from a year earlier. Generally, when there is less than a six-month supply of available homes, it’s considered a seller’s market.
“You’re seeing the same trends regardless of where you are,” said Larry “Boomer” Foster, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “Employment across the D.C. metro area is very strong, interest rates are low, confidence is high, and you’ve got 84 million millennials, a huge percentage of whom want to own a home.”
Many current homeowners are not putting homes on the market, Foster said. They may have refinanced at favorable interest rates that they don’t want to give up, and the lack of inventory might also be keeping some from moving up or downsizing.
“It’s a great time to sell, if you have somewhere to go,” Foster said. “At most price points, sellers have very little competition and a great deal of demand.”
Foster said buyers should go into the home-buying process prepared. That means finding an agent and lining up financing before you start looking. If you find a desirable property before enlisting the help of an agent and securing a lender, you risk losing out to a more prepared buyer.
“Get your credit together and find a good, proactive Long & Foster real estate agent,” Foster said. “You’re going to need someone who’s an expert negotiator, someone who knows the marketplace better than anyone else, and who’s a trusted advisor to help you through a relatively complex transaction.”
The Long & Foster Market Minute is an overview of market statistics based on residential real estate transactions for more than 500 local areas and neighborhoods and over 100 counties in eight states. The easy-to-read, easy-to-share reports include information about each area’s units sold, active inventory, median sale prices, list to sold price ratio, days on market and more.
Information included in this report is based on data supplied by Metropolitan Regional Information System and its member associations of Realtors, which are not responsible for its accuracy. The reports include residential real estate transactions within specific geographic regions, not just Long & Foster sales, and they do not reflect all activity in the marketplace. Information contained in this report is deemed reliable but not guaranteed, should be independently verified, and does not constitute an opinion of MRIS or Long & Foster Real Estate.