by Nate Ward
on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 at 12:21pm.
Spring in the Nation’s Capital brings two certainties: cherry blossoms and more listings showing up on the real estate market. It has been quite the seller’s market over the winter, with a high demand and low supply of properties in the DC area. The sales price to original asking price is close to 100% right now. While we don’t foresee it turning into a buyer’s market anytime soon, there will be more listings coming available throughout the spring and summer.
Most well priced listings are seeing multiple offers. More often than not, the winning offer is above the seller’s asking price with very few, if any, contingencies. It’s commonplace in DC for purchasers to accept the property “as-is,” and many buyers are choosing to waive any financing, appraisal, or home inspection contingencies to sway the seller in their direction. Successful buyers are getting more and more aggressive with their offers and terms. 23% of all sales in February 2014 were cash deals, which is a very high number. Some neighborhoods are seeing double-digit price appreciation and average sales prices greater than the original asking price. Buyers who have been priced out of their first-choice neighborhoods are now considering locations that weren’t on most their radars just a few years ago.
We don't anticipate the pace of the housing recovery to slow down anytime soon. That story may change if there is a substantial uptick in interest rates, which could happen later this year. As of right now, housing inventory remains much lower than historic averages and there are plenty of buyers trying to enter the market. It’s more important than ever to work with a knowledgeable realtor. If you're well qualified and are realistic about what you can afford, we can help find a home for you!
If you love seafood and being near the water, the Maine Avenue Fish Market is the place to go! This Southwest Waterfront landmark has been welcoming patrons seven days a week since 1805, and is currently the oldest continuously operated fish market in United States. Local vendors serve up a huge selection of fresh seafood from floating barges anchored to the wharf. If you're looking for seafood to take home and cook, this is one of the best places in DC to do that. You can also order cooked seafood to sit and eat or take along on a stroll along the Washington Channel. The Maine Avenue Fish Market is most easily accessible by Metro, from either the Smithsonian, L’Enfant Plaza, or Waterfront stops. It is not the only attraction in Southwest DC, for just on the other side of a pedestrian bridge is East Potomac Point. There you’ll find a golf course, driving range, tennis courts, and fishing on the Potomac River. The area around the Fish Market has a very bright future ahead, as a $1.5 billion project entitled “The Wharf” has recently begun and will bring new life to the neighborhood. This has already included the new Washington Kastles Stadium, which hosts DC’s professional tennis team, and additional plans are for residential units, a marina, office space, retail space, hotel rooms, and parking.
WASHINGTON, DC REAL ESTATE TREND INDICATORS
Median sales price in March 2014 was $473,125, which is up 2.85 percent from last March's median sales price. The average sales price to original list price was 98.2 percent in March 2014. That is down just slightly from a sales price to original list price ratio of 98.6 percent in March 2013. Pending sales were down 1.54 percent from the same time last year. The time properties sat on the market fell 14 days, with the current average at 47 days on market. There were 1,026 active listings in Washington DC in March 2014 which is up 3.43 percent from the number of listings on the market at this time a year ago. A total of 564 properties sold in March 2014 which is down 2.59 percent over last year.
MORTGAGE RATE NEWS
Mortgage interest rates are close to as low as they’ve been throughout the last six years. After an overall one-percent rise in 2013, rates have dipped slightly early in 2014. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.34 percent in March 2014. There is an expected increase slowly in the next year, so now may be the perfect time to buy a home to avoid the expected higher interest rates. If you're one of the lucky buyers who can lock up a reasonably priced home, your inflation adjusted interest rate is approaching zero! Continued strong demand in the DC area and a low supply of listings will likely continue to push up real estate prices in the foreseeable future.
The Southwest Waterfront is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Washington, DC. The area went through its last major transformation in the 1960’s and the prominent architecture of this small quadrant of DC strongly reflects that time period. Both Hubert Humphrey and Thurgood Marshall once lived in the neighborhood...
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