Washington Real Estate Monthly Muse | by Nate Ward
A concise synopsis of the Washington DC real estate market
Buzz around the office
The national real estate market did just what you would expect to do when a federal stimulus program ends - it slowed down. That said, any realtor will tell you markets are local, and Washington DC no exception. Bucking the national trend yet again, pending home sales in Washington DC actually rose 17 percent over the same time last year. In the United States, on average, pending home sales fell 30 percent. You can thank hefty job growth in the DC Metropolitan Area coupled with historically low interest rates for the continued stronger than average demand. Nationally, the recently expired $8k tax credit encouraged many buyers into the market that would have otherwise bought later in the year, thus creating a lull in demand for the following months. No matter where you live, there was positive news for buyers who had a property under contract before the April 30th, but were unable to close by the June 30th deadline to receive the $8k tax credit. Recent legislation extends the settlement date deadline for eligibility through September 30th, 2010.
Local Business Spotlight
Most Washingtonians are probably noticing a weather pattern around here lately. It's hot! It's really really hot! This month, instead of highlighting a business, I'd like to give some summer lovin' to the DC public pools. If you have yet to make the trip, I highly recommend it! The pools are free to all DC residents and you can bring your out of town friends for just a few bucks. The facilities have clean showers, plenty of lounge chairs, and the water is very well maintained. Here is a list of pools that are operating on extended hours to help you beat the heat:
* Anacostia, 1800 Anacostia Drive, SE, (202) 724-1441
* Banneker, 2500 Georgia Avenue, NW, (202) 673-2121
* Benning Park, Southern Avenue and Fable Street, SE, (202) 645- 5044
* Douglass, Frederick Douglass Court and Stanton Terrace, SE, (202) 645- 5045
* Fort Dupont, Ridge Road and Burns Street, SE, (202) 645-5046
* Fort Stanton, 1800 Erie Street, SE, (202) 645- 5047
* Harry Thomas Sr., 1743 Lincoln Road, NE, (202) 541-7499
* Oxon Run, 4th Street and Mississippi Avenue, SE, (202) 645-5042
* Theodore R. Hagans Jr., 3201 Fort Lincoln Drive, NE, (202) 576-6389
* Volta Park (formerly Georgetown), 3400 Volta Place, NW, (202) 282-0381
Washington DC Real Estate Trend Indicators
The number of homes sold in Washington DC in June 2010 was up 16.99 percent over the same month last year.The time properties sat on the market fell 21 days over last June, with the current average at 66 days on market. There were 3268 active listings in Washington DC in June 2010 and 681 of those properties went under contract. Average sales price this June was $542k; which is up $7k over last year's June's average.
Mortgage Rate News
Mortgage rates are historically low and have dropped for the second consecutive month. The rate on 30 year fixed mortgages fell from 4.79% on June 3rd to 4.57% on July 8th. The rate drop translates into a savings of $13.24 per month for every $100k you borrow over the life of the loan.
I think 16th Street Heights is possibly one of the most undervalued neighborhoods in the city. It has very close proximity to the sprawling Rock Creek Park, the second largest urban park in the country. The neighborhood is a reasonable walk to the metro and there are a number of bus lines right outside your door. Most of the lots in 16th Street Heights are huge and prices are substantially lower than other areas in the city. This property is a solid buy. Check it out:(look for the link below ML# for the full listing): (link no longer active)
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