DC Homes Selling For More, Moving Faster Than a Year Ago

by UrbanTurf Staff

MRIS released its July housing numbers for the DC area today, and while we are going to wait for Keith Gibbons of DC Housing Prices to dissect the statistics (DC’s go-to housing market guru is back in action), there are some interesting trends related to home prices and the number of days properties stay on the market that are worth reporting.

While the total number of home and condo sales in DC proper decreased by about 18 percent between July 2009 and July 2010, the average list price and average sold price for homes on the market increased across the board.

Another interesting takeaway from the stats in the chart below is the drastic drop in the average number of days that homes spent on the market. The stat not only speaks to the fact that the country was in the middle of the housing crisis last summer, but also is evidence of the high demand for quality homes when they hit the market these days.

  2010 2009 % Change
Average Sold Price $550,687 $483,477 13.9
Median Sold Price $430,000 $386,000 11.4
Average Days on Market 62 88 -29.55
Average List Price $582,959 $520,162 12.07

See other articles related to: dclofts, dc home prices

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_homes_selling_for_more_moving_faster_than_a_year_ago/2358


  1. Mike said at 4:40 pm on Tuesday August 10, 2010:

    I’d like to see these stats in terms of median pricing vs. average.  The top of the market has been frozen for some time, but high priced properties that still fit into conforming loans probably are moving better than they were a year ago, pushing the average up.  Some of this might be influenced by the low interest rates available on conforming loans (up to $729k in the DC area I think).  Days on market also might be decreasing because there just isn’t much out there, so when good stuff comes on the market, it’s gone.  Again, median vs. average might be helpful to figure this out.  I’ll be looking forward to seeing a more detailed analysis.

  1. Mike said at 5:00 pm on Tuesday August 10, 2010:

    I just looked at the detailed report, and while there were more 500k+ properties sold than in 2009, the median price (vs. average) declined slighting in the District (but increased in all the suburbs), probably indicating a wider spread in prices that bring up the average.

  1. B said at 5:20 pm on Tuesday August 10, 2010:

    @Mike—Doesn’t the chart offer median pricing versus average pricing?

    Not surprised at all by the days on the market drop. Anything good is flying off the market these days.

  1. C said at 8:44 pm on Tuesday August 10, 2010:

    Do I detect a market that might be overheating?  This doesn’t seem sustainable.

  1. Mike said at 7:48 am on Wednesday August 11, 2010:

    @B—there is only one chart that has median pricing.  Most of the report is around average pricing, which makes it much harder to interpret what’s really going on. There is a lot of analysis in the report regarding the strong professional job market in DC that drives pricing for “average” priced housing particularly with low interest rates. However, rents and home ownership prices are closer to equal value than they have been in 5 or more years in DC, so I wonder if prices rise to the point where it’s much more expensive to own, that will apply downward pressure. This first “recovery” year might be a bit more positive than some modest years to come.  That’s my thought.

    You can see the full report here: http://www.mris.com/reports/trendsreport/Trends in Housing 2nd Quarter 2010.pdf

  1. janson said at 10:47 am on Wednesday August 11, 2010:

    According to the DC housing prices blog, which has been very reliable in my experience (http://www.dchousingprices.com/2010/08/mris-june-2010-housing-report.html), the average is up, but the median is down year over year. With the expiration of deals closing from the housing tax credit, this trend will have to accelerate through the fall. This average price statistic is not a good one - it just tells us about the mix of homes sold, not the price level. It’s great to report the number, but the interpretation should be very cautious.

  1. Mike said at 2:01 pm on Wednesday August 11, 2010:

    @janson—thanks for that link, it provides good evidence of what I was thinking. The “average” price reporting can be very misleading. 

    People who can afford the high priced homes don’t really need the tax credit, so I would expect that those homes will continue to move at a similar rate as there are reasonable bargains compared to previous years.  But for those first time homebuyers, the closing incentives were key to moving properties, and I’d expect slowdowns.  There are also seemingly another round of foreclosures coming (maybe more in the ‘burbs) that will also strain the market from moving up by much.

  1. roots said at 10:39 pm on Wednesday August 11, 2010:

    Interesting no one is really talking about the absurdly low 15 and 30 year mortgage rates. These rates will save you way more than 8k over the life of your mortgage. For example, you buy a home for 500k, put 20% down. On a 400k 30-year loan, you’d save about 45k over the life of the loan. I’m surprised realtors were pushing the 8k more than the low rates.

  1. Mike said at 8:40 am on Thursday August 12, 2010:

    @roots—It’s clear that low interest rates have played into the upswing in purchases.  If you follow the weekly mortgage applications, they tend to swing up as rates go down. In terms of DC real estate though, I think the appeal is more in creating affordability with lower rates.  You can save a few hundred dollars a month vs. a few years ago on a 4.5% rate.  When homes are 400-500k, that’s creates affordability that was out of reach when prices and rates were higher (this all assumes you can qualify given the tighter lending standards).  The 8K incentive was real because it also helped with affordability with the down payment, which, can be 80-100k or more if you plan on putting 20% down. 

    Most people don’t stay in homes for 30 years, so pushing the long term savings doesn’t really appeal. 

    What’s really interesting is pending changes in the mortgage legislation that may come.  Fannie and Freddie changes are definitely coming, but there is also discussion of elimination/reduction of mortgage interest tax deductions, etc. If that occurs, we will most likely see a sharp flattening/reduction of home ownership.  The discussion starts next month…

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