The state of the D.C. area real estate market

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David Howell, McEnearney Associates CIO: I want to thank Tom Williams of our Spring Valley office for letting us shoot in this beautiful home at 3304 Cummings Lane in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It’s incredible new construction, and it’s just immaculate. Over 5,300 square feet with five bedrooms and four and a half baths, there are thoughtful details throughout the house. One of my favorites is the crumb vacuum built into the kitchen island baseboard. Click here for the listing details, and I think you’ll be blown away.

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A shift in the market we haven’t seen before

At the start of the year, we predicted that this year’s Washington, DC metro area real estate market would look a lot like 2018: stable contract activity, modest price appreciation, stable mortgage interest rates, and continuing low inventory. With over half of the year in the books, we were mostly right – with one glaring exception: the inventory of available homes.

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The state of the D.C. area real estate market

In this video, we’re continuing our conversation about absorption rates.

But first, I’d like to thank Emily Gordon and Phillip Allen of our DC offices for letting us shoot this video in their incredible new listing at 3039 16th Street, NW in Columbia Heights.  Unique is a word that’s overused – but this 2 level, 2 bedroom condo really is unique.  20-foot ceilings, 18-foot windows, magnificent views, incredible smart home features and a private elevator right to the unit.  Take a look at the info below, click on the link and enjoy!

Evaluating the impact of absorption rates is really a matter of leverage.  The higher the rate, the more bargaining power the seller has. Let’s take a look at the conditions right here in Columbia Heights.  Over the last several months, the absorption rate for condos has been right around 35%. That’s a seller’s market, and the results show that.  Since the first of the year, condos here have sold for an average of 99.5% of original list price in an average of 34 days. Good stuff!

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State of the D.C. area real estate market: Where did all the listings go?

We’re now firmly in the spring market, and there’s one question that has emerged that’s pretty hard to avoid: What happened to listing inventory in the City of Alexandria and in Arlington County?

At the end of March, most of the metro area had roughly the same number of listings on the market as this time last year.  But in Arlington County, inventory is down 40%, and in the City of Alexandria, there were exactly half as many homes on the market.

Half.

Where did the listings go?  Contract activity is a little higher than last year in both of these areas. But it isn’t contract activity that accounts for the big drop in inventory.

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How the government shutdown has impacted the real estate market

The partial government shutdown that started right around Christmas and extended through almost all of January undoubtedly put a squeeze on the metro DC real estate market.

We took a look at absorption rates – the pace at which the market is absorbing” the available inventory – in January and compared those to rate the previous January, and there is an inescapable conclusion: the market was slower.

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Amazon’s impact on Arlington and Alexandria continued in December

McEnearney Associates’ EVP and CIO David Howell
December brought some truly incredible absorption rates in Arlington and Alexandria in the aftermath of Amazon’s HQ2 announcement, while the rest of the region continued to see more typical performance.

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Absorption rates: D.C. metro area contract activity

Tipping Points

We’ve been fortunate to have a very healthy real estate market in the metro Washington D.C. area for several years, and as we head into the fall market, that’s still the case.

Last month, we looked at some of the hottest areas in the region, with absorptions rates over 60% – what we call an extreme seller’s market. This month, we’re looking at the other end of the spectrum, where there is plenty of available inventory but less contract activity – those areas and price ranges where the absorption rate is 15% or lower, a buyer’s market.

Generally, that characterizes the market for homes priced more than $1M – to be sure, there are some luxury markets that are hotter than others, but we’re focusing today on homes priced less than $1M because that’s the heart of the market.

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UPDATED: Is Amazon coming to the DMV?

Image credit Medium.com

We’ve gathered all the reports with predictions and analyses about the location of Amazon’s HQ2, which is slated to bring 50,000 white collar jobs and $5B in investments. Where do you think the giant will land?

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In-depth reviews of D.C. area real estate markets (First half of 2018)

We know all real estate is local, and market conditions vary widely from community to community. We have taken a comprehensive look at the dynamics throughout the metro area (Alexandria; Arlington County & Falls Church City; Northern Virginia; Loudoun, Fauquier & Prince William counties; Washington, D.C.; and Suburban Maryland) for the first half of 2018 with a level of detail you won’t find anywhere else.

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Winter 2018 Marketwatch: More of the same?

2017 ended with a bit of a whimper, as contract activity on our region’s real estate market cooled off along with the weather. But it was an overall solid year, with Washington, D.C. continuing to outpace its suburban neighbors. What’s ahead for 2018?

We’ll put our forecast into three categories: Steady State, the Wildcard and the Tantalizing Possibility.

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