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DC Area Housing Inventory Remains Low, But So Do Foreclosures

by Mark Wellborn

News out today about the DC area housing market in January sounded very similar to what was reported about the market last month: a low inventory of homes for sale, a drop in foreclosures and higher-than-average contract activity.

RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) reported this morning that there were 10,095 active listings on the market in the region in January, the lowest level for the month since 2005. It is important to point out that while the inventory across the area fell, in places like DC proper (+1.0%) and Arlington (+11.5%) it increased versus January 2011. Despite the low inventory, the number of contracts signed for the month outpaced the “five-year January average” by 22 percent and were 4.6 percent higher than January 2011.

DC Area Housing Inventory Remains Low, But So Do Foreclosures: Figure 1
Courtesy of RealEstate Business Intelligence

While there may be less to choose from for buyers out there, an optimistic detail from the report that caught our attention was the significant drop in foreclosures hitting the market.

From the report:

Foreclosed inventory is down sharply year-over-year with 67.2% fewer foreclosed properties for sale at month’s end compared to January 2011. The foreclosed market share of active inventory continued to fall, with only 4.9% of active listings under foreclosure representing less than half the 11.1% share in January 2011.

As for home prices in the region, RBI reported a one percent drop year-over-year for median sale prices — from $313,000 in January 2011 to $310,000 last month. While the median price for detached homes rose about 3 percent to $385,898, the median price for attached townhouse properties fell 3.2 percent to $300,000 and condo/coop prices fell 3.9 percent to $230,000. (Keep in mind that these statistics include the entire region noted below; for more granular statistics of specific zip codes or areas, click here.)

The area that RBI analyzes includes DC, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, and Falls Church City.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_area_experiencing_lowest_housing_inventory_in_7_years/5108

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