Washington Real Estate Monthly Muse | by Nate Ward
A concise synopsis of the Washington DC real estate market
Buzz around the office
The real estate market here in DC tends to follow annual patterns just like any other part of the country. As the holidays approach, home sales drop off. On average, DC sales numbers in October are roughly three-quarters of the busiest months of the year. If you’re a bargain hunter, this is one of the best times to be looking. The decrease in activity tends to give prospective buyers some additional leverage. Keep in mind, real estate trends are hyper-local and Washington DC still has a very competitive market; properties in good condition that are appropriately priced are still selling well. More than any other time of year, I find listing agents are keen for feedback about property condition and asking price. This month, the most significant DC real estate news came via the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index -Washington DC posted a 7.3% jump in housing prices over last year at this time!
Local Business Spotlight
The diversity of culture in the District is extraordinary. The variety of honest and truly authentic cultural cuisine follows suit. Personally, I don’t like it too complicated when it comes to supper time. If you’re looking for some of the most authentic Italian food in the city, I’d highly recommend 2AMYS in Cathedral Heights. As someone who has had the good fortune to spend time in Italy, I can say first hand this place is ON point! They keep their menu simple: pizza, salad, wine, and delicious hors d'oeuvres. If you stop in to wait for an order to go, definitely take the time to wander out back to the full bar while you wait. They have about 15 beers on tap and a respectable selection of Italian wine sold both by the bottle (to go) and by the glass (to stay). Look to your left while saddled up to the bar and you’ll see their selection cured Italian hams. Yum! Don’t stress about ordering your pizza too far in advance. Every time I’ve stopped in and ordered from the hostess, and my food is always ready in 15 minutes or less! Here is a link to their website: http://www.2amyspizza.com/
Washington DC Real Estate Trend Indicators
The number of homes sold in Washington DC in October 2010 was down 4 percent over the same month last year. The time properties sat on the market fell 22 days over last October, with the current average at 69 days on market. There were 3322 active listings in Washington DC in October 2010 and 564 of those properties went under contract. Average sales price this October was $588k, which is up $90k over last year's October sales price average.
Mortgage Rate News
Mortgage rates are historically low. The rate on 30 year fixed mortgages fell from 4.27% on October 7th to 4.17% on November 11th. The rate drop translates into a savings of $5.84 per month for every $100k you borrow overthe life of the loan. Rates are SO low that they are likely hindering private investment. Long story short, this news is fantastic for potential buyers and those looking to refinance their current real estate investments. This is not such great news for everyone else. Without private investors buying mortgage backed securities, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae continue to fill the void in the secondary mortgage market. This means banks must adhere to their inflexible underwriting standards. When rates eventually come up a bit and encourage private investment, it is likely that the market will see a greater number of homes sold. There are plenty of very well qualified buyers out there who don't fit into Fannie and Freddie's extremely strict lending rubric but have the income and down payment to afford a competitively priced conventional loan based on their risk level.
This top floor Glover Park condo is a fantastic value. It has a fully renovated bathroom with custom imported tile.The entire condo is freshly painted and has hardwood floors throughout. It also comes with a parking space and storage area. Check out the rooftop deck for some of the most expansive and impressive views you’ll find in Northwest DC. The location is ideal! It’s just a short trip to Georgetown and Glover Park shopping, restaurants, and many beautiful parks. Check it out:(link no longer active)
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