The Return of Concessions and an Abundance of Options: DC Shows Glints of Being Buyer-Friendly

  • November 1st 2019

by Nena Perry-Brown

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A home that sold in Trinidad earlier this year.

While the housing market in DC proper continues to see home prices set records, signs are emerging that seem to point to a market tipping in favor of buyers.

Timur Loynab of McWilliams|Ballard's CondoNest division works on both the new and resale sides of the condo market and has noticed that, particularly with the influx of supply after Labor Day, the market has become more segmented. 

"Units that were attractively priced and presented really well, they moved quickly," Loynab explained. "Everything else simply sat on the market and took longer to sell. That feeding frenzy that was commonplace in the market even a year ago seems to be dissipating."

Loynab pointed out that buyers are not feeling the same pressure which compelled a market full of multiple offers and waived contingencies.

"There is less of a need on the part of buyers to strip their offers of the standard protections," he continued. "When [a buyer] revisits a listing two weeks later and still sees it active, there is less of a sense of urgency to act." 

Marian Marsten Rosaaen of Compass has also seen segmentation in the market as the year has progressed.

"Earlier this year, in Penn Quarter/Chinatown/Mount Vernon Square, condominiums that would receive multiple offers almost immediately, are now seeing one or two offers, after having been on the market for two weeks or more," Rosaaen told UrbanTurf. "As a result, and depending on the neighborhood, sellers and agents are adjusting expectations due to buyer behavior, depending on price point and neighborhood."

Statistically speaking, however, market experts are more skeptical of a pendulum swing in the DC  market, particularly because, despite an increase in supply, prices have continued to increase. 

"You are seeing a modest increase in the active listings, but to say that it is a buyer's market might be a bit overstated," Chris Finnegan of Bright MLS told UrbanTurf.

Finnegan noted that the majority of the increase in listings is coming from new development, and this new product coming online is unlikely to lead to a drop in prices.

"If you're talking about the Wharf or down by Nats Park or other parts of town, the supply that is offered up as a result of the new development doesn't necessarily mean that prices will dip because there's premium pricing that's associated with new development."

Overall, however, Finnegan agrees that there are deals to be had on the market and, like many realtors that UrbanTurf spoke to, agrees that it will take a few more cycles of data before anyone can comfortably draw conclusions.

"At the end of the fall, we'll be in a better position to determine whether this is just kind of an anomaly, or it's a coming trend," Loynab explained. "If we continue to see, market cycle after market cycle, this dynamic of more inventory than we had in previous cycles, and it takes us longer to move that inventory, then I think it will only embolden buyers."

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the-return-of-concessions-and-abundance-of-options-dc-shows-glints-of-being/16089.

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