DC, Baltimore Register Best August Sales in Years

DC, Baltimore Register Best August Sales in Years

The big news for the D.C. housing market this month:

  • The summer home sales season in the Washington, D.C. metro area market finished with the highest number of signed contracts for August in four years. There were 4,169 contracts signed in August 2011, 8.6% less than the 4,563 contracts signed in July, but consistent with seasonal trends. New pending sales were 19.9% above the August 2010 level but that increase is exaggerated due to the dearth of activity in the months following the expiration of the federal homebuyers tax credit in April 2010. The median sales price for August 2011 showed a similar seasonal pattern, declining 3.8% to $356,000 from $370,000 in July 2011 but was essentially unchanged from August 2011.

Big news for the Baltimore Metro Area housing market:

  • Baltimore area home sales enjoyed their best August in five years as buyers took advantage of affordable prices and record low interest rates. While August pending sales of 2,365 was 1.7% below the July 2011 total of 2,407, the current decline was well below the 6.9% average month‐over‐month decline of the past 5 years and the 4% average month‐over‐month decline of the past ten years. Median sales price also outpaced seasonal patterns, rising 4.4% to $235,000 in August from $225,000 in the July .

The releases are attached in their entirety, and Jonathan Miller is available throughout the day for comment.

August 2011 RBI Pending Home Sales IndexTM: Washington, D.C. Metro Area –
Summer Season Ends With Most Active August in Four Years

Pending Sales Activity During Month Showed Seasonal Trends

Rockville, MD – September 12, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The following analysis of the Washington, D.C. Metro Area housing market has been prepared by housing market expert Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, based on the August 2011 RBI Pending Home Sales IndexTM released today:

OVERVIEW
The summer home sales season in the Washington, D.C. metro area market finished with the highest number of signed contracts for August in four years. There were 4,169 contracts signed in August 2011, 8.6% less than the 4,563 contracts signed in July, but consistent with seasonal trends. New pending sales were 19.9% above the August 2010 level but that increase is exaggerated due to the dearth of activity in the months following the expiration of the federal homebuyers tax credit in April 2010. The median sales price for August 2011 showed a similar seasonal pattern, declining 3.8% to $356,000 from $370,000 in July 2011 but was essentially unchanged from August 2011.

KEY TRENDS

  • August contracts reflected long term seasonal trends. There were 4,169 contracts signed in August 2011, 8.6% less than the 4,563 contracts signed in July, consistent with the 5-year 9% average month-over-month decline and the ten year 7.5% average month-over-month decline. The monthly total was the highest number of August signed contracts in 4 years. New pending sales were 19.9% above the August 2010 level but that increase is exaggerated due to the dearth of activity in the months following the expiration of the federal homebuyers tax credit in April 2010.
  • Median sales price slipped from prior month, consistent with seasonal patterns. The median sales price for August 2011 was consistent with seasonal long-term trends, declining 3.8% to $356,000 from $370,000 in July 2011 but was essentially unchanged from August 2011. Median sales price has averaged a 3.6% month-over-month decline over 5 years and a 2.2% month-over-month decline over ten years.
  • Active inventory remained just above ten year average. There were 14,325 active listings at the end of August 2011, 4.8% above the 13,667 monthly average of the past decade. However, consumers were faced with lower inventory to choose from than the same period a year ago. Active listings fell 11.7% below last year’s levels and fell 4.2% from the July 2011 total of 14,946. There were 9.7% fewer listings added to the market in August 2011 than in July 2011.
  • The seasonal decline in demand was matched by the decline in supply. The absorption rate was 3.4 months in August 2011, essentially unchanged from 3.3 months in July 2011 but was faster than the 4.7 month absorption rate in August 2010. The number of months to sell all active inventory at the current pace of new contract signings is a measure of market efficiency.
  • Time to market a property faster than 5-year average The average days on market was 70 in August 2011, edging up from 68 days in July 2011 and 62 days from August 2010. However, the 2.9% month-over-month increase was roughly one third the 9.2% average July to August increase over the past decade. The average discount from original list price was 6% in August 2011, edging higher than 5.8% in the same month last year but below the 7% average in August 2009.

The RBI Pending Home Sales IndexTM is a two-year moving window on the housing market using new pending sales (signed contracts) and median sales price (closed sales). It provides unique insight into the state of the current housing market by measuring the number of new pending sales for each month through the most recent month. The results include new pending sales through and including August 2011. The market area includes: Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, and Falls Church City.

ABOUT JONATHAN MILLER/MILLER SAMUEL
Miller is President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., a nationally-known real estate appraisal and consulting firm. A well-regarded real estate commentator, who frequently appears in national media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Bloomberg News, CNBC and others covering national and regional housing issues. He has been named “Best Online Real Estate Expert” by Money Magazine and his stringent focus on neutrality has contributed to his recognition by Inman News as one of the most influential real estate bloggers in the U.S. More information on Mr. Miller and Miller Samuel can be found at www.millersamuel.com or follow him on Twitter @jonathanmiller.

ABOUT RBI
RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC (RBI) is a wholly owned subsidiary of MRIS. RBI is a primary source of real estate data, analytics and business intelligence for real estate professionals with business interests in the Mid-Atlantic region. The full monthly data report for all jurisdictions in the MRIS region, along with charts and graphics, can be found at www.rbintel.com/statistics. RBI is the only company in the Mid-Atlantic region that provides timely, online access to statistical information directly from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Visit RBIntel.com or follow @RBIntel on Twitter to learn more.

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Media Contact
Carrie Fox, C.Fox Communications
301-585-5034
carrie (at) cfoxcommunications (dot) com

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Miller is President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., a nationally-known real estate appraisal and consulting firm. A well-regarded real estate commentator, who frequently appears in national media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Bloomberg News, CNBC and others covering national and regional housing issues.  He has been named “Best Online Real Estate Expert" by Money Magazine and his stringent focus on neutrality has contributed to his recognition by Inman News as one of the most influential real estate bloggers in the U.S.  More information on Mr. Miller and Miller Samuel can be found at www.millersamuel.com or follow him on Twitter @jonathanmiller.

Contact:

Phone: (212) 768-8100
Fax: (212) 768-9202

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