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July 2014 Newsletter

The good news is that DC is steadily becoming a more pleasant and accessible place to live. The challenge for hopeful buyers is that prices aren’t where they used to be, even a year ago. The process of urban renewal in the nation's capital has become a self-fueling engine. As more people move back to the District, it inevitably leads to increased demand for local businesses and services. The demand encourages the revitalization of commercial corridors and supports a broader base of cultural, dining, and retail options. In a basic sense, more people equals a more vibrant and eclectic city. The city's build out of the Metro and bus systems along with the wild success of the Capital Bikeshare Program has created a more accessible and useful public transportation system in DC and beyond. As demographics continue to shift, baby boomers are downsizing while more young professionals are putting off the idea of a white picket fence in the suburbs. Both of these trends are creating more demand for a "walkable lifestyle," and DC is here to deliver.

Washington area home buyers are being faced with tough decisions: submit an offer with all the contingencies for typical concerns (home inspection, appraisal, financing, etc) or try to write an offer that cannot be beat.  In today’s market, more buyers are electing to forgo the home inspection, based on getting a home inspector through the property prior to making an offer. They are also leaving out the appraisal contingency. This is based on research of similar properties nearby as well as the financing contingency (if they have good jobs, plenty of savings, and solid credit scores). When submitting a non-contingent offer, the deciding factor is typically the offer price. The question many buyers face is: how much over list price can we go before we run into problems with our lender? Many buyers are also electing to use an escalation clause addendum as part of their offer strategy. In the addendum, the buyer offers to pay the seller X more than the next best offer, up to a maximum offer amount. Some agents consider the strategy as showing your cards, while others see it as a useful tool in a multiple offer scenario. In an increasingly complex market, working with an experienced and knowledgeable realtor is more important than ever, and that’s exactly what the agents at Capital Park Realty can provide for you.


RESTAURANT REVIEW

 
Matchbox
 14th Street is not your typical pizza and beer joint. One of five locations in the DC area, Matchbox has been serving up great pizza for ten years. But pizza is not all that Matchbox does-- entrees range from steak to seafood to pork, and there are great salads and appetizers to choose from as well. Brunch is offered Saturday and Sundays, bringing another great option to the Matchbox menu. Their wine and beer selection is quite popular as well, offering something for everyone. Located at the corner of 14th and T Streets NW, Matchbox is located in the ever-popular U Street Corridor, right where it meets with Dupont Circle and Logan Circle neighborhoods. Be sure to check out Matchbox 14th Street if you’re in the neighborhood, or check out another one of their great locations in Chinatown, Capitol Hill, Rockville, or Merrifield.


WASHINGTON, DC REAL ESTATE TREND INDICATORS

Median sales price in June 2014 was $520,000, which is down just 1.7% percent from last June's median sales price. The average sales price to original list price was 99.4 percent in June 2014. That is down just 0.9% from a sales price to original list price ratio of 100.3 percent in June 2013. Pending sales were down 4.79 percent from the same time last year. The time properties sat on the market decreased 2 days, with the current average at 30 days on market. There were 1,304 active listings in Washington DC in June 2014 which is up 6.89 percent from the number of listings on the market at this time a year ago. A total of 839 properties sold in June 2014 which is up 6.2 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 dropped in 2014. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell slightly to 4.16 percent in June 2014. That’s the lowest monthly rate since June 2013. There is an expected increase slowly throughout the second half of 2014, 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.


FEATURED NEIGHBORHOOD

The U Street Corridor has a rich and eclectic history deeply rooted in the African American community as well as the arts and music scene throughout the 1900’s. Until the 1920’s, the neighborhood was home to the largest African-American community in the country and was known as “Black Broadway,” an idiom coined by actress and singer Pearl Bailey. In fact, the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum is located at the east end of the U Street Corridor….

Thank you so much for reading our newsletter!

  • Do you know anyone looking to buy or sell a property in the DC Area? Please let me know!

  • Want to know what a property sold for? Send me the address and I’ll get you the all the details.

  • Want to track only a certain area or price range? Let me know where and I’ll take care of the rest.

To contact the author directly, please email nate@cparkre.com or call 202.997.1421

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