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?
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!