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Washington Real Estate Monthly Muse | by Nate Ward

 A concise synopsis of the Washington DC real estate market 

Buzz around the office

During the heart of the holiday season, market activity slows significantly, but sales are far from being in a state of hibernation. Admittedly, in many parts of the country these are the weeks Realtors are thumbing through piles of junk mail and crumpling up forlorn to-do lists. Here in the nation’s capital, real estate professionals tend to stay relatively busy year round. No doubt, buyers who are willing to skip an afternoon of merriment will face less competition; that said, you are not likely to find many 'Black Friday deep discounts' on the price of real estate. Well priced homes come on the market every day, and it's the buyers who most closely track the market who jump on those deals. Recent trend indicators are good news for sellers out there! On average, homes here in Washington DC area selling for more money and in fewer days than the same time last year. Furthermore, in the past few weeks, I also have noticed a decidedly urgent scramble from buyers concerned they may have missed the bottom of the mortgage market. Rates are still close to historic lows, but they are trending upward.

Local Business Spotlight

If you’re looking for a place with quality soul food and generous portions at a reasonable price, try Oohh’s and Aahh’s on U Street. Most recently noted for appearing on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives,” this restaurant is a U Street staple. Upon entering, I was immediately greeted with a warm welcome and an offer to sample a few things off their menu. Everything I tried was delicious. The downstairs has the feel of a smallish galley style take-out joint, but wander up the back stairs and you’ll find plenty of comfortable seating and big screen TVs. Their food is made to order and they’re open until 4AMon Friday and Saturday night. Personally, I’m a huge fan of their crab cake sandwich as well as their catfish sub! Here is a link to their website:

Washington DC Real Estate Trend Indicators

Sales volume in Washington DC in November 2010 was down 6 percent over November 2009. The time properties sat on the market fell 12 days over last November, with the current average at 60 days on market. There were 3123 active listings in Washington DC in November 2010 and 548 of those properties went under contract. Average sales price this November was $600k, which is up $89k over last year's November sales price average.

Mortgage Rate News

Mortgage rates were historically low in November and have started to trend upward as of late. The rate on 30 year fixed mortgages rose from 4.39% on November 18th to 4.83% on December 16th. The increase on mortgage rates translates into an additional cost of $26.31 per month for every $100k you borrow over the life of the loan. The increase in rates means that buyers will pay slightly more to own a home, but rising interest rates are also a sign of an improving economy. Growth in the overall economy is positive news for DC real estate values in what is already a strong local market.

Featured Listing

This fourth floor condo has sprawling views of the city that feature both the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument. Light pours into the living room and kitchen through Southern facing 10 foot floor to ceiling windows.The floors are bamboo or imported tile throughout. The condo includes a washer/dryer in the unit and comes with a garage parking space. The location is ideal, only two blocks walk to the U Street-Cardozo Metro Station with an organic grocery store right downstairs. It is also centrally located between some of the most vibrant and eclectic restaurants, shopping, and entertainment venues in the city along the booming U Street Corridor. Check it out:(link no longer active)

Thank you so much for reading my 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.

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