Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


July Real Estate In Upper Northwest Washington, DC

July Real Estate In Upper Northwest Washington, DC

Over the past couple of days, there have been some pretty dire news reports about real estate prices going down the drain.  And in some parts of the country, they are, indeed. 

But, they say that all real estate is local.  So this is for my buyers who have been calling me about homes they own here in Washington, west of Rock Creek Park.

I looked at four zip codes that make up what we call "Upper Northwest".  These are 20007, 20008, 20015 and 20016. 

First, the "sales" numbers are the ones that actually went to settlement - money and ownership papers changed hands.  And these numbers are not terrible.   And the numbers being reported nationally compare July 2010 to June 2010, which is like comparing apples to monkeys.  June is always a much stronger month than July or August,

To give a truer picture, I took July of 2009 and compared it to July 2010.  Here's what I found:

July 2009: 84 homes sold, with average prices of $1,177,229.  The average days on the market was 67.  28, or 33% of these homes were priced under th $800,000 cap for the price credit.

July 2010: 91 homes sold, with average prices of $1,109,491, a drop of 5.8 percent.  It took homes an average of only 51 days to sell, and 35, or 38% sold under $800,000.

But the interesting numbers are the numbers of homes that went under contract during the month of July.

July 2009:  71 homes went under contract at an average price of $1,119,561, with an average time on the market of 72 days.

July 2010:  54 homes went under contract at an average price of $989,428.  The average time on the market down, to only 54 days.  And the average was impacted by the high end of the market.  The highest priced listing to sell was only $1,574,500. 

Now, to me, the numbers for the homes that went under contract is much more interesting. And why the precipitous drop?

Was it the end of the federal tax credit?  I don't think the credit impacted this particular part of the market.  While about a third of the homes fell under the purchase price cap of $800,000, most of the buyers had incomes in excess of the maximums you needed to qualify for the credit. 

So what's the real culprit? 

The weather!

July was just unbearable in Washington, DC, with a hot spell that soared over 100 degrees for much of the month, and humidity that made it feel like swimming through the air.  It was really difficult for me to pull myself out of my air conditioned house to show property.  It was even harder to find a buyer willing to sweat it out to look at houses.  I mean, the people who were out there had to be really motivated to buy!

I think that what happens in September will tell the story.  Many sellers are waiting until after Labor Day to put their homes on the market.  Many buyers are who have been escaping the heat are returning from various beaches and mountains.  And agents, including myself, are looking forward to September and to a much more comfortable selling environment. 

So if you are planning a move, this is the time to start getting ready.  Call me - I can help!


Comment balloon 12 commentsPatricia Kennedy • August 26 2010 03:05PM



That's the problem with statics! They can be very true and simultaneously useless! Personal slumps are optional.

Some times it's just to hot, to humid, and to much fun staying home to play with the kids!


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) about 10 years ago

Pat, I love it!   I think you are on to something with the weather and you are so right about June vs July.   Most settlements from the "hot" spring market occur in June, not July and this summer, June included was dreafully hot.  I am with you.  And we also have low inventory here, probably lower than last year, which is not something those national statistics take into consideration and is not happening in other markets.  I am looking forward to a happy, prosperous fall!

Posted by Coral Gundlach, Real Lives. Not Just Real Estate. (Compass) about 10 years ago

Pat, pretty impressive stats in the District. It does not look so dire. Just a normal Summer. Labor Day approaches = Back to school, back to nice comfortable weather and back to work.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Central Maryland (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Pat, the weather can indeed make people want to stay in doors. We blast the air conditioning in our cars and buildings around here in the summer too. You get some very high humidity layered on top of the heat. Oppressive. Great observation...

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 10 years ago

Pat, yeah for you! You hit the nail on the head. I am a firm believer that the press and often the powers that be take numbers, take news, make it worse than what it is. Of course things are not rosy, but ghesh, enough already with the doom and gloom. They are creating panic.

My dear husband believes that when the press is hounding one particular subject to death there must be something really big going on that no one wants us to pay attention to. OK, he is a bit off but sometimes I wonder.

I am going to do exactly this, I have the stats for both July 09 and July 10, thanks to Active Rain, it is all here in my little notebook.

I hit the suggest button as this is, in my humble opinion, the best reading I have come across in a few days!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 10 years ago

Bill, you are so right about the personal slump thing!

Coral, I'm hoping we get some more inventory after Labor Day.  It's slim pickins around here!

Ellie, I am looking so forward to the September weather.

Gary, I think you Texas agents might be used to it.  We're just not.

And Andrea, I think your husband just might be onto something!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 10 years ago


Excellent info and glad it is so POSITIVE.  Our July 2009 to July 2010 numbers of units sold in Single Family homes were down 29%  (worst unit volume since July 1996 when we were busy hosting the 1996 Olympic Games?)  

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

Hi Pat... what's the story on the very contemporary home in the photo?  I love it.

Posted by Steve Shatsky about 10 years ago

Michelle, this is a very unusual market  It's sort of insulated from a lot of the rest of the country.

Steve, the contemporary is on Potomac Avenue, overlooking the Potomac River. 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Pat -

Nicce commentary on the DC market.  I am sooooo tired of the doom and gloom.  And you're right on about waiting till after Labor Day for listing - this area is notorious for being vacant in July/August.

Posted by Michael Bergin, Northern Virginia Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES ) about 10 years ago

Great post, Pat.  I agree with Michael- the doom and gloom is wearing on me.  

Posted by Marcie Sandalow, Bethesda Chevy Chase DC real estate (Marcie Sandalow, Compass 301.758.4894 ) about 10 years ago

Another great post! Even our weather down in Florida was better than DC during July!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 10 years ago