Well, it’s official. You can now enjoy a pumpkin spice latte and not wonder if you’ve lost your mind because you’re drinking it while wearing shorts. You’re now bundled up in layers of clothing you dug out of your closet, all the while wondering if some of those layers ought to just stay away from the light of day (“what was I thinking” is a question I often ask myself after seeing clothes I haven’t worn in a while… perhaps you too?).
Now that you’re cold enough, you’re probably wondering what happened to fall — and the fall market. Well, they both came, but what didn’t really come with fall were any new houses for sale. True, the inventory has edged up slightly to just over two months of housing stock, but our inventory has essentially never been lower. The number of active listings just keeps decreasing, and even the addition of about 2,600 new listings to the market hasn’t really helped. Days on market is down 30 percent over last October’s numbers and down 10 percent from September. This reflects the reality of the D.C. fall market of late: more and more buyers for fewer and fewer houses.
What does that mean to you, dear homebuyer or seller? The simple rules of supply and demand prevail, and that, too, is reflected in the numbers. As you can see, home prices are up 4 percent on average over last year, and are higher than the peak prices of 2008. While most of the country is still under those peak prices, D.C. has essentially been higher than the nationwide peak since 2009. So, as a seller, you should feel confident that listing now is a very good idea, and, if priced and presented well, your home should sell quickly and with the potential for multiple offers.
As a buyer, you should expect the same outcome for the houses you like, so you’ll need to be aggressive with your offers and well-prepared to compete with others. If you’re waiting for inventory to come back, you could be waiting a while—inventory has been on the decline since the price peak of 2008, with precipitous drops since 2011. A slight bump in the past few months has been almost imperceptible, and without many new large condominium projects, the availability of housing stock and the potential for relief from upward price pressure is unlikely anytime soon.
If you’re considering a purchase or a sale, ensure you’re equipped with the right strategy for the best outcome. You’ll need a team to support you on either side of the equation, and you’ll be surprised how enlightening simply meeting with a full-service Realtor can be. For further information, visit dwightanddavid.com or call 202-642-1616 today.
David Bediz is the founder of the Dwight & David Group, which has nine agents and a prime Dupont Circle location to serve you as a buyer or seller. Call 202-642-1616 or visit dwightanddavid.com today.