August 2014 Newsletter

Posted by Nate Ward on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 at 2:33pm.

August often brings a slight decline in sales activity in Washington, DC. It is a prime vacation month for area residents as they seek to escape the District for cooler climates, beaches, and mountains. Congress is also out of session which means thousands of DC residents have more leisure time to take these vacations. As such, fewer people are looking to buy than there were earlier in the summer and spring. It also means fewer listings normally appear on the market than in other warmer months of the year. However, the good news is that so far this summer there are more listings on the market than there were a year ago in Washington, DC. The challenge in 2014 is that the median sales price has gone up, and this may account for the fact that the number of sold properties is down slightly from last year. You should expect even more properties to come onto the market as we move into September, and hopefully the supply of housing in DC will close the gap with the very high amount of demand that has been the trend as of late.


The Tombs and the 1789 Restaurant are about as different as two restaurants can be, yet both are iconic gems located on the same property next to the Georgetown University campus. Owned by the Clyde’s Restaurant Group, the Tombs sits in the basement of a building that holds the 1789 on the two floors above. The Tombs is a neighborhood restaurant by day and a college bar by night, and is often included in 
lists of the best college bars in America. The 1789 is a French-American fine dining experience that is one of the best in Washington, DC. Both establishments were founded in 1962 by a Georgetown alumnus and were purchased by the Clyde’s group in 1985. The Tombs menu features salads, burgers, sandwiches, wings, pizza, a great beer selection, and many of the seasonal specialties that make Clyde’s famous, such as crabcakes, wild salmon, and steaks. The 1789 menu is offered in five different courses, including a cheese course and dessert course. A sensational and extensive wine list has been crafted to pair with staple entrees featuring pork, steak, seafood, lamb, and duck. Despite their differences, the Tombs and the 1789 do have one thing in common besides the Clyde’s ownership: both offer dining and drinking experiences that are hard to find anywhere else in Washington, DC.  


Median sales price in July 2014 was $530,000, which is up 1.92% percent from last July's median sales price. The average sales price to original list price was 99.2 percent in July 2014, which is exactly the same as it was in July 2013. Pending sales were down 3.32 percent from the same time last year. The time properties sat on the market decreased 3 days, with the current average at 32 days on market. There were 1,290 active listings in Washington DC in July 2014 which is up 6.44 percent from the number of listings on the market at this time a year ago. A total of 757 properties sold in July 2014 which is down 2.82 percent from last year.


Mortgage interest rates in July dropped for the third straight month in 2014. After an overall one-percent rise in 2013, rates have slowly but surely declined in 2014. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell slightly to 4.13 percent in July 2014. That’s the lowest monthly rate since June 2013. The increase in mortgage interest rates that was expected in 2014 simply hasn’t happened yet, but that doesn’t mean that now may not be the perfect time to buy a home to avoid  higher interest rates that could be on the horizon. 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, but interest rates seem to be on the decline for now.


Georgetown is one of the most storied and iconic neighborhoods in all of Washington, DC. It got its start as a shipping port with a prime location along the Potomac River in Maryland, before the District of Columbia was conceived. At the time it was first settled in 1632, it was the furthest inland that ocean-faring boats could travel along the river. Historians differ on whether the area was named after King George II of England or after founders George Gordon and George Beall...

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