DC Experiencing Lowest For-Sale Inventory Since 2005

by Shilpi Paul

The DC area finished 2011 with the lowest level of for-sale housing inventory since August 2005. RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) reported this morning that there were 10,684 active listings in the region at the end of last year, a 22.5 percent drop from 12 months earlier. The report predicted that the low inventory would lead to upward pressure on home prices in 2012.

DC Experiencing Lowest For-Sale Inventory Since 2005: Figure 1
Courtesy of RealEstate Business Intelligence

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

From the report:

Only 1 in 20 (5.6%) active listings are under foreclosure, a significant decrease from the 11.2% foreclosed market share in December 2010. The 327 new foreclosure listings entering the market in December was 58.5% lower than the same period last year.

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.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/december_housing_market_report_lowest_inventory_in_years/4893


  1. Susan Isaacs, Realtor said at 6:34 pm on Tuesday January 10, 2012:
    You said it! It's getting tough out there. Let's list some property, people!
  1. anon said at 7:23 pm on Tuesday January 10, 2012:
    just wait for DC to lift the foreclosure restrictions and we will see more
  1. jen angotti said at 8:33 pm on Tuesday January 10, 2012:
    It's going to be a wild selling season. One of the listings UT featured in Dec. (1734 Irving St, NW) sold for $43,445 OVER the list price. I wonder if that's going to become the norm or an exception.
  1. ST said at 5:23 am on Wednesday January 11, 2012:
    Lift the foreclosure restrictions and we will see more properties gobbled up, just like what we've seen over the last 24 months.
  1. anon said at 4:34 pm on Wednesday January 11, 2012:
    I'm amazed to see these reports, as my experience looking at recent sales in my 20003 zip is not consistent with a sellers market, even with the low inventory. Maybe there's not enough sample size, or it reflects holiday season, but prices seem less outrageous than 2005-2006 IMO
  1. crystal said at 11:30 pm on Wednesday January 11, 2012:
    The price drops are not representative of the markets desire. The price drops are due to banks refusals to lend money if the purchase is an investment that needs work. Hard money, just like pay day loans, will continue to fail as intelligent people force the banks to create a product to handle us -- or continue to see strategic defaults further pressuring their stock prices and their earnings.
  1. Kent Fowler, Realtor said at 9:54 pm on Thursday January 12, 2012:
    I have seen 'buying' demand growing significantly over past 2-3 years – it really shot up right after Inauguration – with many multiple offers on properties that year as well, yet the pricing has been held in check due to financing reasons, IMO. Home prices have increased in much of DC – I think a major reason prices haven’t consistently gotten too crazy over the asking – though it’s certainly not uncommon to see it if priced low– is due to financing, mainly because it’s now very difficult for ‘average’ consumer to buy multiple homes and condos – unlike pre-2006. The ‘onesy-twosy’ buyer/investor (particularly for condos) that was so prevalent during this period remains on the sidelines, for a variety of reasons. I think it’s been ‘nipped in the bud’ mainly due to 1) the limit Banks will now lend to an individual & 2) the difficulty buying a condo w/ little money down as an investor (condo rules, FHA rules, Mortgage Insurance, etc). The environment just isn’t right for that now, particularly w/ condos – as well as still difficult for rowhouses/single family – so it really is a function of supply/demand from what I’ve seen - and that's why I think even with low inventory, the pricing has increased, but not like in the 1st part of last decade.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!