The upcoming holiday season has not slowed the market down. The October sales data, published last week, shows a robust, steady market in our region. The decline of 2.8% in closed sales from October 2013 was attributed entirely to the decrease in distressed (foreclosure or short sale) property sales. Regular sales remained flat at last year’s levels while new contracts increased by 1.4%. Inventory lingers at less than half of the peak reached in 2007. Even though it takes longer to get a listing under contract, the days-on-market indicator is still under the 5- and 10-year averages. Every jurisdiction showed price gains, ranging from 1.6% in Arlington County to 14% in Fairfax City. The number of townhomes available for sale rose by 34.8% from last year, the most of any segment, so this could be a good time to shop for this kind of property.
Even though Fall tends to be a slow time in real-estate, our listing on Capitol Hill got 5 offers in 9 days and sold for $70,000 over original asking price. And our Lyon Park listing had over 60 showings in the first week it was on the market! But this is definitely not the case everywhere. In fact, we’ve started seeing a lot of excellent properties that are priced well, but sit on the market. The winter months could turn up some good deals for buyers or investors willing to brave the cold. If you’re curious what’s been on our radar, feel free to reach out to us.
The recent elections could re-shape some local real-estate markets, mostly through altering the course of large-scale public projects. In DC, the soccer stadium at Buzzard Point may get a boost from Mayor-elect Muriel E. Bowser. In Maryland, the still uncertain Purple Line may become even less certain after the surprise win by Larry Hogan. And on the Virginia side, Arlington County just announced that the highly-contested Columbia Pike Streetcar project has been cancelled .
You’ll probably find us repeating ourselves, but it bears repeating: if you plan on selling in early 2015, the time to get ready is now. Yes, you have tons of shopping, driving, cooking, and entertaining to do. But so does everyone else which means almost nobody is getting their house prepared to hit the market. And a lot of serious buyers start shopping as soon as January 1st, checkbooks in hand. The harsh weather last winter delayed many listings, so by the time they finally got online, the buyers had either purchased elsewhere or postponed their plans due to the low inventory. Early bird gets the worm may very well be the mantra this January. To find out what you should be doing pre-listing, just contact us!
The Wethman Group
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