DC Monthly Muse | by Nate Ward at Rock Creek Realty

Posted by Nate Ward on Saturday, April 21st, 2012 at 9:51pm.

A concise synopsis of the Washington DC real estate market 

Buzz Around The Office

Spring has come early to the Washington DC real estate Market! Buyers are out in big numbers as inventory continues to be an issue. There are 25 percent fewer homes to choose from this March compared to last year and well-priced listings are often seeing multiple offers. Strong demand is undoubtedly exerting upward pressure on home prices here in the Nation's Capital.

Rent on apartments has continued a steady climb in recent years while interest rates have remained close to historic lows. As a result, many residents have found owning makes a lot more financial sense than renting and they're now looking to buy. The supply squeeze is also affecting small to mid-size developers since more investors are competing for fewer potential properties in need of a rehab. One particularly well-priced estate sale on the 2000 block of 1st Street NW in Ledroit Park received 18 offers earlier this month!

While markets in many parts of the country continue to reel from the housing crisis, large scale developers are pushing hard to deliver housing inventory to meet demand. Currently there are over a dozen 100+ unit condos are under construction within the city limits alone. Two of the largest projects are the massive mixed use development dubbed "Citymarket at O" in Shaw which will house 629 condos and 87,000 SF of retail. A second huge complex is being developed by UDR at 2400 14th Street NW in the just off U Street which will house 225 apartments and plenty of ground floor retail space. Judging by UDR's multi-billion dollar development spree within the District since 2002, the company must be feeling very confident about continued strong rental rates here in DC.

Local Business Spotlight

The next time you're in Glover Park be sure to stop by Surfside at 2444 Wisconsin Avenue NW.  Upon stepping off the rush of the main road, you'll find yourself transported into a down-to-earth hideaway with a beach inspired theme and a friendly and attentive staff. Their menu is centered around fresh locally sourced ingredients, simple preparations, and generous portion sizes. Even on the busiest of days your meal is ready quickly and it's always delicious. If you're bringing a crowd and enjoy having a hand in your meal, they can put together a taco bar with enough variety to suit everyone's taste. Their rooftop deck is enormous and includes a full bar and waitress service. It's a really unique space to plan an office party, special event, or to simply enjoy a tropical drink with some friends. The chef at Surfside creates a monthly special based on the freshest ingredients currently available, so there is always a reason to stop in and try something new! The restaurant also introduced a food truck last year of the same name. You can track its current location on their website:http://www.surfsidedc.com/www/ or by following the truck on twitter at surfsidetruckdc.

Washington DC Real Estate Trend Indicators

Pending sales in March 2012 were up 9.5 percent over March 2011. The time properties sat on the market fell 2 days over last March, with the current average at 81 days on market. There were 1721 active listings in Washington DC in March 2012 which is down from 2306 active listings at this time last year.  A total of 520 properties sold in March 2012 which is down slightly compared to 553 sales in March 2011. Average sales price this March was $545k which is $40k higher than last year’s March sales price average.  The average sales price to original list price was 95.4 percent in March 2012. That's up slightly from a sales price to original list price ratio of 93.7 percent in March 2011. If you're interested in additional information, please check out our partner's monthly video update:

Mortgage Rate News

Mortgage rates are at historically low numbers. Rates have dropped every month since April of 2011 when the average rate on a 30 year fixed mortgage was 4.84 percent. The average rate on a 30 year fixed mortgage was 3.89 percent this February. Lower interest rates have made home loans more affordable than ever.  That said, buyers are currently facing the lowest supply of active listings since the housing crash. The high demand and low supply is good news for real estate values in one of the strongest estate markets in the country.

Featured Neighborhood

Georgetown is one of the most iconic neighborhoods in all of Washington DC. A stroll through the historic neighborhood will reward you with up close and personal encounters with streets, buildings, and people of cultural significance. Georgetown got its start...

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