July 9, 2014 | by Ted Smith
First half of 2014 shows real estate market is back

“It’s BAAAaaack!”

New Condo Sales Shoot Up in DC As Inventory Rises,” shouts the cover headline of the latest edition of Urban Turf this week. The article pointed out that condo sales volume rose in D.C. in the second quarter, skyrocketing in certain parts of the city. Sales increased 26 percent in D.C. proper, rising 96 percent in the Mideast D.C. sub-market and a whopping 150 percent in the upper Northwest sub-market.

But it’s not just condo sales volume that is increasing in Washington—it’s all types of housing.

In the first half of 2014, the number of active (available) listings began to climb above those of 2013 (the lowest in five years), while the number of sold listings climbed to the highest point in the last five years. We know that prices have been climbing in D.C. for the last five years, but that has largely been due to demand for a diminishing inventory. The data give us real statistical evidence of a turn-around in the D.C. real estate market in terms of housing availability and the number of housing sales.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Active listings typically have two peaks during a sales year: a spring peak and a peak in the fall. The overall pattern for any year resembles a “flying bird” like we used to draw in art class, with the left wing longer than the right wing. The overall pattern for sold listings is likewise a “flying bird” with two wings, but about a month behind the active listings bird, and flying at a lower altitude. (There are fewer sold listings than active listings in any given month.

AverageActiveListings_2009-2014

 

AverageActiveVsSoldDCListings_2009-2014_DipsNote the gradual build-up from January to the spring peak, the dip in late summer between the two peaks, then the gradual fall-off from the fall peak through the remainder of the year.

For the last five years, the “bird” of the active listings has flown progressively lower each year—representing the smaller number of active listings throughout this period. However, in 2014, the number of active listings not only started out at the same level as the previous year, but has actually started to exceed it.

5-YearActiveDCListings_2009-2014

And what about sold listings? In the first half of 2014, the number of sold listings has almost consistently been the highest for each month of the first half of the year for the last five years.5-YearSoldDCListings_2009-2014

Taken together, these two trends reveal an interesting picture:

5-YearActiveVSoldDCListings_2009-2014The active listings “bird” has reversed its five-year descent and begun to slowly climb. The sold listings “bird” has been gradually climbing higher (or flying steady) each year for the past five years, and is continuing that trend.

Happy hunting!

(Source: RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC. An MRIS company. Statistics generated on 07/08/2014. Information deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed.)

Ted Smith is a licensed Realtor with Real Living | at Home specializing in mid-city D.C. Reach him at TedSmithSellsDC@rlathome.com and follow him on Facebook.com/MidCityDCLife , Youtube.com/TedSmithSellsDC or @TedSmithSellsDC. You can also join him on monthly tours of mid-city neighborhood open houses, as well as monthly seminars geared towards first-time homebuyers. Sign up at meetup.com/DCMidCity1stTimeHomeBuyers.

 

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